Addicted to tanning (video)

Tanning can actually be an addiction. Photo courtesy of TLC.Tanning can actually be an addiction. Photo courtesy of TLC.I'm a little late to the party, but just had to share this sad/scary clip from TLC's "My Strange Addiction." I've avoided this show like the plague after hearing horror stories about a woman who eats couch cushions (seriously), but as a beauty editor this clip of a young girl who is addicted to tanning struck a nerve.

I'll admit, I have been to a tanning salon maybe 10 times in my life during high school and college before a big event like the prom. At the time I thought it was great because I'm basically known for my paler-than-pale complexion, but a few things weirded me out.

  1. Your skin stings afterward. It's not even like that 'I was at the beach today' sting either. It's more like an 'I was at the beach for a week and my body is humming' sting. Right off the bat that should make you question it.
  2. The goggles. Yes, you need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun, but if they insist on you wearing goggles to protect your eyes, why don't they give you sunscreen as well? Instead they offer up weird chemical lotions that penetrate your skin and make you tan even faster. Scary!
  3. The smell. What IS that smell? Sweat combined with burning flesh?! It's disgusting.
I'll just never understand the whole Jersey Shore "Gym/Tan/Laundry" phenomenon, and I don't want to! As for outdoor tanning, I love a good beach day as much as the next person, but I load up on high SPF and avoid baking during during peak sun hours or for very long in general. I've come to embrace my pasty self, and wish Samantha Becker from "My Strange Addiction" would too. She says she thinks about tanning 24 hours a day and hits up several tanning salons daily (by law you can only visit once a day, so she rotates). Becker doesn't worry about skin cancer and says Botox can cure her wrinkles down the road. One time her skin actually bled after tanning because she burned so badly her skin "broke apart." But that didn't make her stop! In fact, if for some reason Becker misses one day of tanning she feels depressed.

Watch the clip below. I need to see the whole episode now, because I sincerely hope this girl has stopped her daily tanning routine and gotten over her addiction!

Are you or is someone you know addicted to tanning? This girl says it's not a big deal because it's not like drinking or doing drugs, but it can be very dangerous for your body. What do you think about someone who tans every day?

Related links:
User post: Self-Tanning Lotions That Don't Suck
New health care bill imposes tax on tanning beds
Pediatricians' group backs ban on tanning for teens