• Tue, Jun 28 2011

Tanning Bed Ban: CA Teens May Be Forced Into A Life Of Pastiness

Now that gay marriage is legal in New York, it’s time to tackle the other pressing social justice issue of the day: tanning beds. Should they be allowed? Should they be banned? Is a tan really just between one person and one celestial body?

The reason I bring this up is that while California tries to figure out just how badly it wants to be viewed by history when it comes to gay rights (so far, it’s on track to be a pretty big asshole), the state is also looking out for the youthful glow of its teenagers.

Recently, CA state Senator Ted Lieu introduced a bill that would ban kids under the age of 18 from accessing tanning beds. Fake n’ baking in California is currently prohibited for those under age 14, and those between 14 and 18 need their parents’ permission. But! Lieu alerted the media to the breaking news that parents’ signatures can be forged (lock up your daughters!). According to the Wall Street Journal:

Sen. Ted Lieu… says the parent signatures on permission forms are often forged, and tanning salons benefit financially by looking the other way.

He also appealed to teens’ well-known concern for what will happen to them in their old age (you know… when they turn 30) by letting them know that they’ll get ugly if they tan:

Lieu chides vain teens who make a habit of slipping into tanning beds, saying they’re short-sighted because “you will age doing this. Your skin will look more leathery later on.”

A convincing argument if ever there was one.

What do you think? Should tanning beds be off-limits to the underage?

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  • Eileen

    I mean, I have problems with tanning beds in general (and our cultural standard of beauty that claims that tanner=prettier). But I will say from personal experience…there’s nothing quite like meeting a 50-something woman who’s spent too many seasons down the shore to remind you that yes, you should be wearing sunblock right now.

    It is true, though, that teenagers don’t tend to be good at thinking through the long-term consequences of their actions.

  • Joe

    Interesting bill. Well then, how does Lieu intend to to regulate the 840 miles of beachfront, the 3,000 lakes and reservoirs, 2 million pools, and the thousands of parks, tennis courts, golf courses and soccer fields throughout Califonia where 18 and under youths spend their summers and are subjected to sunburn?

  • Reina

    I guess I can understand the reason for stopping teens from using tanning beds, but it won’t stop them from getting a tan or spending to much time in the sun. I think teenagers abuse tanning beds by going way to often and tanning to long. I’m just not sure this will help anything. I prefer to spray tan, it’s safe.