Tanorexics Turning UT Into University of Tanning

Tan and thin is “beautiful,” right? Most women strive to capture petite Eva Longoria’s golden tan or Jessica Alba’s toned body. Some are achieving this look unnaturally.

Long hours spent in the sun or tanning beds, excessive workouts, extraordinary diets or a decrease in eating has led our society of young women to fall into an unhealthy disease called tanorexia. Doctors coined the term as alarming numbers of youngsters put themselves at risk for skin cancer chasing the perfect skin color. Some say it has became the female epidemic for girls between the ages of 18- 30.

Tanorexia is more prevalent than one may think, even at UT. Some think the Florida weather makes it convenient to have a dark tan all year round.

Others take obsessive measures. This disease is a psychological problem.

Tanorexics have an addiction to the UV rays of tanning beds. They experience a “high,” much like a drug addiction.

And, just like an anorexic patient may look in a mirror and see an overweight person, a tanorexic person always sees themselves as pale, or not tan enough.

“I think girls are obsessed with tanning at this school because we are all competing with each other to look our best, and lying out is an advantage we have at this school,” says senior Lauren Joseph.

“When I’m pale, I feel like I look unhealthy and gross.” a UT senior.

“I would go to a tanning salon four times a week sometimes. After my dermatologist, my dentist and my mom yelled at me for over-tanning, I tried to cut down. When I’m tan I feel better in my clothes and feel like I look better,” she said. “Before my prom I went tanning obsessively. It’s hard to stop because I hate looking in the mirror when I’m pale

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