Coco Chanel, Tanning, Cancer and Vitamin D

News — By on September 22, 2009 at 8:27 am

Vitamin D does not rain from the sky, nor does it travel on the beams of sunlight to quench a thirsty body of its vitamin needs. It is, however, one of the few positive products of tanning.

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel overturned the fashionable preference for pale skin overnight when she appeared bronzed from a boating trip at several prestigious Parisian fashion shows.

Before that time, the elite had remained indoors, fashionably lightening complexions with arsenic or lead powder, while farmers and laborers had worked outdoors acquiring a healthy tan.

The social revolutions of the 1920s, however, lured the wealthy, upper classes to the great outdoors while the working classes spent many hours in dark factories, reversing the previous pattern and making tan skin the new desirable beauty must-have.

Today, tanning remains a part of fashion culture, though the link with increased skin cancer has given tanning a poor reputation.
“The risks primarily are due to increased chance of either skin cancer — squamous and basal cell — or malignant melanoma,” Student Health
Director Dr. James Turner said. “Melanoma is much more serious and can be deadly,”
–Lani Hossain, Cavalier Daily Senior Writer

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