Until Coco Chanel came back from a trip to the Riviera tanned and glowing in 1923, society usually looked upon a sun-kissed tan as an outward symbol of poverty. However, Chanel’s appearance uprooted society’s common beliefs, causing the entire world to suddenly view a tan as desirous and sexy.
The escort industry follows suit with this premise, rewarding tan escorts with more clients, higher rates and more attention. It’s fairly typical that escorts seek out a golden glow in order to enhance their physical appearances. However, with the increased rates of skin cancer and proof that tanning causes premature aging, it causes several questions about the advantages and safety concerns surrounding the beauty “treatment”.
As an escort, you may wonder if you should make the effort to get that bronze look that is automatically deemed as sexy. Consider these disadvantages as you think about your options:
Tanning is actually your body’s defense against sun damage. As your body tans, melanin is produced as a way to block the dangerous UV radiation that is soaking into your skin. Instead of being a symbol of beauty, it’s actually an external sign from your body that your skin is trying to reduce negative impacts.
When I see a woman with bronzed skin, I look at it the way you might picture the inside of a smoker’s lungs,
explains Dr. Ellen Marmur, associate professor of dermatology and vice chair of cosmetic and dermatologic surgery at the Mount Sanai Medical Center in New York City. In 2012, she told Glamour Magazine, “When UV light traumatizes the skin, brown pigment, or melanin, covers cells like a shield, trying to protect the fragile DNA inside from burning. This happens extremely quickly — within about 20 minutes of being outside without adequate protection. A tan is essentially your skins cells screaming, ‘Ouch!’” So, even though many people assume that a tan is sign of being healthy and active, it is actually an indicator that you’ve done harm to your skin by being out in the sun.
- Tanning can become addictive. Even though a “healthy” tan is just the opposite, it may have more negative effects than just physically causing your body harm. It can create psychological impacts, too. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Our own recent research explored the effect of UV light on the brain activity of frequent tanners. We exposed tanners who met the criteria for dependent behavior to a UV-emitting tanning bed and a ‘sham one,’ while simultaneously using functional brain imaging. Our preliminary results indicate that exposure to the real (but not the ‘sham’) tanning bed activated centers in the brain associated with pleasure. Much like drug addicts experience effects on their brains’ pleasure centers when they take drugs, tanners get a high from UV radiation. In an additional study, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas discovered similar results. Even if you don’t think that tanning is an issue for you, it can become one easily with increased exposure. The media sensation case of the overly tan mom in 2013 is one example of an individual who took tanning too far. And, while it’s unlikely that an escort will ever experience such extreme circumstances surrounding her efforts to bronze, it’s possible that she could substitute tanning as a way to create positive feelings.
- People think that occasional sun exposure is not harmful. If you’re an escort who wants to get a slight glow and will only be out in the sun a “little bit” without sunscreen, you are still going to be doing damage to your skin. Damage isn’t limited by the amount of time you spend in the sun; any amount of time can cause harm. Of course, those who expose themselves more have increased risks, but any exposure can produce negative effects. Dr. Steven Q. Wang, director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Hersey and author of Beating Melanoma, said, “There’s this false sense of security that just because you’re wearing SPF 50, it’s OK to be out. But, that’s not the purpose of sunscreen–to allow you to stay in the sun longer–and it’s not meant to be your sole means of protection. You still need to sit in the shade, wear sunglasses and a hat and reapply that sunscreen.” He says that “sunbursting” is a common, but dangerous activity for women to engage in. He told Redbook Magazine that getting intense amounts of sun all at once is more likely to cause potentially deadly melanoma, because, very often, the skin hasn’t seen sun for awhile and its defenses are down. Essentially, even limited exposure to the sun can cause damage to your skin.
- You have strong chances of developing skin cancer from repeated use of tanning beds. Escorts who think they are avoiding harm and still becoming golden goddesses by using tanning beds are badly mistaken. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the number of skin cancer cases due to tanning beds is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking. The foundation reports: “In the U.S. alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning.” Sharon Miller, M.S.E.E., a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists and international expert on UV radiation and tanning, said that the tan acquired from tanning beds is a result of excessive exposure to UV rays. Tanning beds decrease the time it takes to get a tan, causing increased absorption of UV rays in a shorter amount of time. This results in increased chances of developing skin cancer. When one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetimes, it’s hardly sensible to seek out a golden tan when comparing your health against escorting advantages. Your health will stay with you (hopefully) long after your years as an escort are behind you.
- Tanning leads to premature aging. Escorts depend on their looks and fresh skin in order to attract and retain clients. No client wants to hook up with an escort whose face looks like shoe leather. It’s natural for youthful skin to eventually show signs of age, but sun exposure can accelerate these results. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that wrinkles around the eyes, fine lines surrounding the lips and age spots (along with other discoloration) can be caused by the sun and otherwise avoided. The process is actually called photoaging, and it is a risk that long-time sun worshippers face early on. Even though you may get that beautiful tan, your face, chest and neck will show signs of over-exposure. Additionally, your back and shoulders may erupt in freckles. While some clients may think that freckles are “cute”, there are many who find the spots undesirable.
Overexposure to the sun can damage your hair. As if the damage to your skin isn’t enough reason to avoid getting too much sun, the UV rays can also harm your beautiful tresses. Escorts rely on their hair as part of their appearance in order to complete the “perfect” package. Silky, strong hair (regardless of color or style) is a must when you are using your looks to attract clients. However, the sun can increase split ends and cause your hair to become wiry and coarse. Sergio Nacht, PhD of Advanced Polymer Systems, Inc., says that sunlight can injure keratin fibers and erode the cuticle (the outer layer of the hair shaft that protects inner layers such as the medulla, where hair color arises). “Sun bleaching also breaks down melanin pigment in the medulla, and as melanin decreases, the hair dries out, loses its strength and becomes stiff, brittle and breakable,” he said. Staying out of the sun won’t ensure that your hair is in good shape, but it will rule out damaging it from too many rays. When your hair experiences sun damage, it may take a lot of time (and money) to restore it back to a healthy state, which is what your clients prefer.
- Tanning can suppress your immune system. The Food and Drug Administration published a report in 2013 indicating that UV-B radiation can prohibit the proper functioning of the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses. This not only leaves you more susceptible to skin cancer, but it also makes you more vulnerable to other conditions and illnesses, too. It’s your job as an escort to stay as healthy as possible so that you can give your clients your “all.” Part of that is to do your best to maintain your immune system. You put yourself in situations where you’re exposed to any cold or flu bug that goes around when you engage intimately with clients; intentionally decreasing your immune system’s abilities to fight off illness is not productive in your line of work.
While it’s obvious that there are many reasons to avoid tanning in the sun or utilizing tanning beds as a way to get your golden glow going, many escorts still feel that there are acceptable benefits to being a sun worshipper. Here are a few to contemplate before making a final decision:
- Tanning helps your appearance. Even though many years ago, a tan was a symbol of low class status, it is now a symbol of beauty. Magazine ads, the media, movie and television stars/celebs and politicians all seek out a bronze tint in order to showcase their good features. It’s a common conception that a tanned body is a more attractive one, enhancing muscle tone or detracting from lack of it. (Body builders are ALWAYS tan!) It’s a way to hide flaws and to exhibit a youthful, active and “alive” appearance. Pale skin is often associated with illness and being an introvert. A healthy-looking tan gives off the vibe that you get out and about, enjoying the outdoors when you can. Society is trained to think that tan is part of being beautiful, so it’s one of the best ways to feel best about how you look. And, being happy with how you look is an essential trait for escorts.
- Clients are predisposed to wanting a tan escort. Whether you like it or not, many clients prefer a tan escort over a pale one. (Of course, some niche escorts are incredibly successful with pale skin.) In order to make yourself marketable, you have to concede to the general belief that men like a tan body on a woman. Even if you want to resist conforming, you may limit your business potential by avoiding the sun. In order to create demand for yourself, you may need to acquire a bronze appeal.
- Tanning can elevate your mood. It boosts serotonin. By being outdoors in the sun or getting UV rays in a tanning bed, your body increases its production of serotonin, the “feel good” drug. It can help you feel healthier, more alive and in a better mood. If you’ve been stuck inside all winter, it can help reduce effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Additionally, getting some sun rays can increase your body’s production of melatonin, which aids your sleep patterns. Escorts who have difficulties sleeping as a result of irregular schedules or stress may benefit from incremental sun exposure due to an increase of melatonin in their systems. In fact, getting outside in the sun and fresh air can really help your frame of mind and make you feel happier, overall.
- Tanning increases your Vitamin D levels. According to the National Institute of Health, Vitamin D is necessary for the development/maintenance of strong bones, muscle movement, nerve center message transmission, a strong immune system and a number of other tasks. However, many adults are deficient in this vital nutrient. Sunshine is one of the easiest ways to absorb pure Vitamin D into the body.
There are other methods to obtain a healthy tan, without subjecting yourself to the sun’s or a tanning bed’s rays. Examples include:
- Sunless tanning sprays, creams and lotions. The FDA recommends sunless tanning alternatives. These products include the chemical dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in order to darken skin color and simulate a tan that lasts for several days. While restrictions are imposed for these options, risks are few and effects are good. In order to get the best results possible: exfoliate first, apply the product in sections, wipe excess off joint areas to avoid unnatural darkening and allow your skin to dry before putting clothing back on.
A tanning alternative that should be avoided, without question, is the tanning pill. Even if you think this may be the quickest and most effect method of getting a bronze appearance, you should not consider this as an alternative. So-called tanning pills with unreal promises are unsafe and none are currently approved by the FDA. Some contain a color additive called canthaxanthin, which can turn skin a range of colors varying from orange to brown. In addition to getting a funky color, these pills may also damage your liver, cause you to break out in hives or result in yellow deposits forming on the retinas in your eyes. This option is even riskier than spending days out in the sun in search of that perfect tan.