We Are Sunshine

TODAY’S HEADLINE STORY: Understanding ‘The Legend of the Roasted Tanner’

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The greatest urban myth in the history of indoor tanning is the story of a young woman who supposedly “cooks” her insides by visiting several tanning salons in one day. The myth is that she microwaved her internal organs.

But it’s just a myth. You can’t cook anything in a tanning bed.

2008-05-30-microwaved-copy.jpgThat’s because microwaves do not behave like ultraviolet light. To prove the point, Smart Tan arranged indoor tanning’s “Great American Cook-Off” in 2002. Salon owners all across North America put food on their tanning bed acrylics — hamburgers, pork chops, chicken wings and steak. Then they turned on the tanning units for several hours at a time.

What do you think happened? NOTHING. That’s because ultraviolet light CAN’T cook food. And it can’t cook your internal organs — after all, it doesn’t penetrate your body past your skin.

So what do you tell your client? The legend of the roasted tanner is nothing but a myth. If your clients don’t believe you, tell them chicken, steak and hamburgers are still raw after several HOURS in a tanning bed.

You also should make an effort to avoid referring to tanning as “cooking” or “frying.” It only perpetuates the myth. And we’re not in the business of “baking” people.