Fake tans latest teen trend
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
DRESS, check! Make-up, check! Spray-tan, check!
Brown skin was an essential part of Catherine Bradbury's look for last night's Byron Bay High School Year 12 formal, but she was not willing to bake in the sun to achieve the result.
Catherine and her friend, Lucy Nicholls, both 18, are proof Australian teenagers are increasingly resisting the urge to tan.
"Clothes look better with a tan and you look fatter when you're white," Catherine said.
"I don't have time to sunbake and I have fair skin and burn easily, so that is why I got a spray-tan."
Lucy, a part-time model, said she was proud to be pale and would not put her health at risk for darker skin.
"I used to sunbake when I was about 15, but I don't anymore. I wear sunscreen every day," she said.
"Sunbaking is gross and it gives you cancer."
The Cancer Council's National Sun Survey, released this week, found 68 per cent of teenagers said they had not tried to get a tan, even though they would like one.
However, it found one-in-four teenagers were still getting sunburnt on a typical summer weekend.
The council's national skin cancer committee chairman, Craig Sinclair, said the figures represented a mixed bag as far as skin cancer prevention went.
He said melanomas, the most serious and potentially deadly form of skin cancers, were the most common form in people aged 15 to 19, making up 24 per cent of all cancers in that age group.
"The fact that 68 per cent of teenagers did not go out and actively attempt to get a tan is a positive result and teenagers should be commended for that," Mr Sinclair said.
"However, there are some con- cerning results from the survey. For example, 25 per cent of teenagers are still getting sunburnt on a typical summer weekend.
"We need to protect ourselves, not just at the beach but when we are enjoying a barbecue in the backyard, playing sport or are just out and about."
The survey found teenagers were still more susceptible to the allure of tanning than adults, with more than twice the percentage of teenagers (32 per cent) than adults (15 per cent) reporting they had tried to get a tan.
A lower percentage of adults (39 per cent) than teenagers (60 per cent) said they liked getting a tan.