Pop Culture Is Wrong — Tanning’s Not Fashionable

The Y2k trend that should stay in the past.

Kim Kardashian has come under fire for promoting the use of tanning beds.

While giving an tour of her skincare brand’s new office, the Kardashian was shown lying in the bed while stating, “I’m Kim Kardashian. Of course I have a tanning bed and a red-light bed.”

Viewers were not impressed by the star’s use of the tanning beds, which were declared “carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization in 2009.

“Wait I’m shocked about the tanning bed,” one TikTok user commented on the video, while another one wrote, “But why the tanning bed?!”

Why Does Kim Kardashian Use Tanning Beds?

The Kardashian quickly defended her use of the bed when she replied to an X (formerly known as Twitter) post from Allure magazine, which asked Kim to not normalise tanning beds.

“I have psoriasis,” she replied, “and it really helps when it’s bad. But I don’t use it too often.”

Despite the star’s claim, the National Psoriasis Foundation doesn’t recommend the use of the beds for the condition.

 “NPF does not support the use of indoor tanning beds as a substitute for phototherapy performed with a prescription and under a health care provider’s supervision” the organisation states on their website. “The beneficial effect for psoriasis is attributed primarily to UVB light. Tanning beds in commercial salons emit mostly UVA light, not UVB.”

Kim Kardashian in shows viewers her tanning bed. (Credit: TikTok)

Kim’s viewers were also surprised by her choice to use tanning beds after her sister Khloe was diagnosed with melanoma last year.

“For those who do not know I had a skin cancer scare on my face,” Khloe posted on her Instagram Stories in September 2023. “My angel @garthmd is who I trusted with removing the tumor. Dr. Fischer is out of this world Fabulous!”

Dermatologist Dr. Scott Walters posted his own TikTok video in response, where we states “Kim! I love you but please get rid of the tanning bed in your amazing office especially when Khloe has had melanoma!”

“Having a family history of melanoma increases your risk by 74%,” he wrote on the video. “Indoor tanning before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma by 75%.”

While the Kardashian claims that she only uses the tanning bed for her psoriasis, she wouldn’t be alone if she did use them to get a sun tan.

Christopher Esber’s now removed swimwear campaign showcased tan lines.

Unfortunately, having a tan is still glamorised by the fashion industry. Last year, Australian brand Christopher Esber came under fire for using a model with tan lines in their (now removed) swimwear campaign.

For a brief time in 2022, there was even a TikTok #sunburnchallenge, where creators posting images of themselves with bad sunburns with the aim of getting a tan. It’s also not unusual to see popular influencers post images of their bronzed bodies soaking up the sun.

While it’s easy to get swept up by images of people with golden tans, it’s important to remember that skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in Australia.

For this reason, a natural tan is simply never worth the risk—especially when there’s so many fake tan alternatives.

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