Peak Current Year: Sunscreen and Tan Are Racist

To be honest, it’s pretty surprising that skincare products haven’t caused more outrage and racism claims in our ‘woke’ modern age. However, The Atlantic decided to plug this racism shortfall earlier this week with an article titled “The Problem Sunscreen Poses for Dark Skin”.

Our melanin-bereft friends need sunscreen to protect themselves from those pesky rays, but as found by The Atlantic, sunscreen–often shunned by POC–provides an array of benefits:

“It fades acne scars, which can last for weeks or even months. It staves off conditions that are caused or worsened by the sun, such as lupus, which is especially common among women of color. And it protects skin that becomes more photosensitive due to certain medications, including those for high blood pressure—a condition more likely to affect African Americans.

Then there’s skin cancer. While more white people get diagnosed with skin cancer than people of color, black people are less likely to survive the diagnosis, because physicians tend to catch their cancer in later stages.”

Apparently, certain ingredients are pushing POCs away from skincare.

An NCBI study found that up to 14% of Non-Hispanic Blacks suffered from sunburn, despite NHBs being half as likely to use sunscreen.

In 2016, The Huffington Post asked the question: “Should Tanning Be Considered Appropriation?” after a Swedish company came under fire for releasing a tanning product called “Dark Chocolate”–not very progressive, Sweden.

Some people argued that the product would facilitate white people’s appropriation of black features.

Essence magazine penned a piece a few days later suggesting that in the age of cultural appropriation, tanning excessively could be ‘risky business’.

Paper Mag published a piece earlier this year challenging people’s perception of tanning:

“Darkened skin on thin white bodies is read as sun-kissed, the lingering memory of an afternoon spent surfing waves and drinking beers on the beach. On black and brown bodies it has, time and time again, been equated with dirt…”

The article goes onto condemn “Blackface” as dehumanizing.

There are several other articles raising questions about tanning and cultural appropriation. Whatever happened to imitation being the highest form of flattery? In the future, will white people have to go to the beach fully veiled to avoid upsetting their ‘woke’ friends? Would catching-some-rays be considered culturally insensitive as it would undermine other groups?

Of course, there are some cases where excessive tanning should be called out–not as cultural appropriation, but as crazy.

What a time to be alive!



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About Orwell Goode

Orwell & Goode (a pun for “all well and good”) is a Youtuber, blogger, and an economics masters degree student. His main interests lie in documenting the decline of the Western world and identifying economic policies which may shape society for better or worse. He is the host of the “All Well and Good Show” and the co-host of news round-up “Waking Up The West” on YouTube.