The bronzed Aussie still alive and unconcerned
By EMMA O'NEILL firstname.lastname@example.org ALABASTER skin is considered beautiful in Japan, but some Aussies, like Ashley Beashel, still prefer the bronzed look.
I always wear sunscreen when I sunbake," the Lennox Head resident said.
But I do feel healthier with a tan." Kate McCormack, also from%Lennox Head, said because of her naturally pale skin she rarely%sunbaked, but would consider using a solarium.
People with pale skin can get paid out for being so white," she said.
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Yet a recent study found more than 60 per cent of 13 to 24-year-olds living in NSW still wanted a tan.
A tan is the sign of damaged skin, and excessive exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer and death.
However, the number of solariums in Australian capital cities has quadrupled over the past decade.
Beaches are also still lined each summer with sunbakers damaging their way to a 'healthy' glow.
Erica Crawford, manager of the Frangipani Beauty and Rejuvenation Spa in Ballina, said most clients of their two solariums were not concerned about the damage done to their skin.
We go through all of the health risks of using solariums with clients," she said.
But for most people it's a case of 'beauty comes first'."
Last week, 26-year-old Melbourne women Clare Oliver paid the ultimate price for maintaining her tan.
She died from skin cancer, and from her hospital bed warned of the dangers involved with pursuing a tan.
Erica Crawford said Miss Oliver's plea changed one client's mind about her solarium use.
She said the client called the Ballina day spa and changed her regular solarium session to a spray tan after hearing Miss Oliver's warning.
Miss Crawford has also rejected clients to her solariums.
Some people are too pale and it would be too damaging to their skin, and some people are too young and don't have parental%consent to use the machine," she said.
But not all salons are so strict.
The Federal Government announced recently uniform national laws on solarium use would be considered as evidence had emerged of irresponsible solarium operators.
Whether people get their tan from a day on the beach or a solarium, it appears some Aussies will be 'dying' for a healthy glow this summer.
If the Cancer Council has its way 'alabaster' will be the new 'tan' next year.