IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU
Updated: Nov 28, 2018
How often have the words ‘It won’t happen to me’ fallen out of your mouth? Perhaps often, and in many different scenarios. We know that skin cancer is real, but how many of us actively take precaution from the suns UV rays? It may be positivity, disillusionment, lack of knowledge or simply being oblivious to the harsh reality of sun damage. We live in a society where it is believed that a tan promotes good health, which is then exacerbated by images around us.
Sadly, we have become prisoners to what is perceived to be a norm of how we should look. With myriad advertising around us, individuals strive for picture public perfection. How often have you gorged on what looked to be a juicy hamburger, but when it arrived on your plate, it was flat, the cheese had not melted over the burger patty, the lettuce was not crisp and the beef looked dull.
The stark reality is the food being advertised has had a face lift to look like that. A heat gun has been applied to melt the cheese just perfectly over the patty, the lettuce is held in place with a toothpick, a makeup sponge is used to add height to the burger and vegetable oil is brushed around the side of the patty to give it a juicy look, making you salivate and want to do nothing else other than eat this burger. Marketing is a wonderful tool, and part of it is promoting perfection to sell a product or service to prospective clients to purchase, even if it is misleading.
When we see celebrities on Social Media, Television and in Magazine articles, the majority depict flawless tanned, glowing skin. Many of these celebrities have been air brushed or photoshopped to ensure images being portrayed to the public are flawless. Just like the hamburger that had been dressed up, once you take away the layers of photoshop their picture-perfect skin in fact does not glow. It is an ideology that has been conjured up that a tan looks healthy and is promoted through the power of imagery, that has habitually been manipulated.
Australia is known to have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancer does not have an emotion or feeling, it does not selectively target individuals, everyone is at risk. With summer officially only a few days away, there are numerous trades that are required to work outdoors, increasing the risk of skin cancer and eye damage due to the sun’s UV radiation. The 1st of December is officially summer and whether you are enjoying the humble Aussie BBQ, in the surf or working hard out-doors, you are able to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Be kind to yourself, love your body and have the desire to want to live. Wear sun protective clothing when you are outdoors, wear a hat to protect your head, neck and face, wear sunglasses that have polarized lenses to reduce eye damage, keep hydrated and use sunscreen throughout the day to reduce your exposure to the sun. Cancer.org.au states “Tanning is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation (from the sun or solarium) to damage your skin. This will eventually cause loss of elasticity (wrinkles), sagging, yellowish discolouration and even brown patches to appear on your skin. Worst of all, it increases your risk of skin cancer.”
It often takes a family member, friend or colleague to go through a life changing event for us to become self-aware and think ‘it can happen to me? If you have any concerns about your skin, sores that are not healing, small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour, new spots, freckles or moles that have changed in colour, thickness or shape consult with your General Practitioner. The fact is, if the burger was photographed and advertised the way it is was presented to us as a consumer, most food outlets would cease to trade as we buy into what we see. Don’t be a statistic to skin cancer and be fooled by the clever ploys of marketing on television, social media and publications about looking healthier when you have a tan. The reality is that you are confirming to societies perceptions of healthy and radiant, be skin safe.