“Sunburn Tattoos” Are the Summer Trend That’s Making Dermatologists Scream

Allow me to transport you, friends, to suburban New Jersey circa 15 years ago. Every summer while I growing up, I would pack a few things for the beach: a towel, tanning oil, and a pack of stickers. Even then, we knew how awful sun exposure is for your skin. Still, friends would stick Playboy bunny stickers — I kid you not — above their hips or on their lower backs. Peel them off at the end of the beach day, and you’ve got yourself a sexy(?), intentional tan line. Or as the kids are apparently calling it these days, a «sunburn tattoo.»

The New York Post picked up on this long-running «trend,» which has resurfaced this year because the human race is nothing if not self-destructive. As the newspaper defines it, «People place stencils on exposed skin and head outside to soak up some rays. When that mission is complete, they remove the stencils to reveal ‘semi-permanent’ designs in paler skin tones.» There’s even a brand called FunTanTattoo that exists to help make skin damage appear more fun.

A browse of the hashtag #sunburntattoo on Instagram pulls up people who have «decorated» their bodies with negative-space tans in the shape of the Batman symbol, stars, and whatever «USDA Whore» means (please, no one tell me).

This won’t come as a shock, but Shari Marchbein, board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at New York University, does not recommend trying this at home.


One comment

  1. Wow! In Germany the trend changed already some time ago. A strong sun tan is not attractive anymore.
    I suppose in former times a fair complexion was appreciated because it was a prove that you are wealthy, educated and do not need to work physically outdoors like farmers.
    Later a sun tan was associated with wealth because only people, who can afford to travel, have got holidays and leisure time to do outdoor activities for fun, had a sun tan.
    Nowadays, almost everybody enjoy these privileges thanks to low budget mass tourism and is able to use tanning booths additionally. Thus, your tanned complexion is no suitable social differentiation anymore, I suppose.
    Today, there is a reverse effect. People with extremely tanned complexion are regarded «low class» – also in terms of less educated, stupid and above average vain – because the risks of tanning (cancer, skin aging) are / should be well-known.
    The complexion is obviously subject to fast changing fashion too.

    Μου αρέσει!


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