By now, it’s no secret that tanning beds are awful for our skin and health.
Just last week, 27-year-old Tawny Willoughby made international headlines by posting skin cancer treatment photos that served as a graphic reminder of the dangers of excessive solarium use.
Here in Australia, the tragic story of Melbourne woman Clare Oliver — whose experience with solariums led to her developing terminal melanoma in her early 20s — has prompted the banning of sunbeds in several states across the country.
Despite the ongoing campaigns promoting sun safety and skin cancer prevention, it seems many people still don’t grasp the potential dangers of baking in sunbeds. Sadly, Lady Gaga appears to be one of them.
Late last week, the 28-year-old pop star Tweeted the following message to her 46.6 million "Little Monsters": Urgh.
It's a shame because the overall sentiment of the tweet is positive — that it's fine to treat yourself and not be a slave to strict 'clean living'. But there's a big difference between slurping down the occasional Diet Coke and subjecting yourself to dangerous levels of UV radiation.
To be fair, the Applause singer isn't explicitly telling her followers to do as she says; she's merely making the point that everyone has vices. But considering she has a following of millions — many of whom are quite young — it's a poorly-considered message to share. Particularly during Skin Cancer Awareness Month, which is May in the US. (Post continues after gallery.)
Lady Gaga may not have experienced any health side-effects from tanning beds — that we know of, anyway — but many others certainly have.
According to the Cancer Council Australia, an estimated 280 malignant melanomas a year are attributable to solarium use; while among young people, they cause one in six melanomas.
Most of the time, Lady Gaga is known for using her profile to further important causes — LGBTI acceptance, bullying prevention and positive body image, to name just a few. She's a pretty great role model. It would just be great to see her follow Hugh Jackman's lead and let her beloved fans know a tan isn't worth dying for.
What do you think of Lady Gaga's Tweet?