Are tanning references in TV a problem?

Jan 23, 2013 1 Comment by

Even if you didn’t watch Jersey Shore, you have likely seen images of the tanning obsessed cast in the tabloids. The recently canceled show with the motto “gym, tan, laundry,” and MTV are now under fire from the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) for promoting tanning to teens and young adults.

The SCF audited season three of Jersey Shore and found 186 references to tanning in just 17 episodes, and 48 images of tanning throughout the series’ third season. They believe the focus on tanning in the series implies that tanning is necessary for social acceptance.

This September, the SCF asked MTV to include warnings with each episode alerting viewers to the danger of tanning. MTV refused, which provoked the SCF to file a complaint with the FTC under the Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices section of the FTC Act.

The SCF is worried that pro-tanning messages will continue in spin-offs such as Snooki & JWoww, a reality television series on MTV starring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (pictured above) and Jennifer “JWoww” Farley from Jersey Shore.

According to the SCF, just one indoor tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent.

What are your thoughts? Do you think shows such as Jersey Shore push real teens to tan? Should something be done?

Resources:
http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts
http://www.indystar.com/usatoday/article/1842659
http://www.examiner.com/article/skin-cancer-foundation-sues-mtv-for-promoting-tanning-on-jersey-shore

Photo resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snooki_in_Chicago_adj.jpg

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One Response to “Are tanning references in TV a problem?”

  1. Mae says:

    We agree whole heartedly with the SCF and wish that TV networks would include a disclaimer just like there are surgeon general warnings on cigarette boxes. Teens should be aware that tanning is an unhealthy practice should be educated through any media or outlet possible! – Mae, ETSIS

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