Yes, I want to keep the political arena talking about political topics and issues - really important issues BUT please tell me that this story floating around out there involving Sarah Palin and her purchase of a used tanning bed (with her own money) for the Governor's mansion is false - a fable - an urban myth - please, please don't tell me it's true. Because whether we like it or not - she is now in a bigger arena and some of what she does will factor into whether others think it is a good idea or even a safe idea for themselves.
So if indeed, Ms. Palin did purchase a tanning bed for private use - that kind of makes a statement to the public - the same public we repeatedly send messages to about skin safety and skin cancer risk. Do I want to judge her because she spent (even on a used bed) thousands of dollars that I think could be put to better use? Nope. I simply don't want to get involved in discussions of personal financial decisions - I leave that to the pundits who need to fill air time. But the idea that with all the good information out there about the dangers of tanning in general and especially tanning beds (and people do not use sun block when partaking of tanning beds) she would buy one in 2007- speaks volumes to me about the behavior she is modeling to the general public. Had the story remained a quiet, personal choice - i wouldn't have much to say. Now that it's out there - WHAT IS SHE THINKING??? She is the running mate of a man who suffers from past melanomas and still has close scrutiny of his pale skin on a regular basis. McCain is a poster child for why you need to stay out of the sun. So if I had been his chosen running mate - I would have dumped that tanning machine in the Alaska wilderness for those polar bears to use!! This is also a woman who declared May - Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Was that after she got her daily dose of UV rays in the mansion??
I looked at some of the blogs reporting on this story and people seem to feel that we should no more talk about it than speak our minds about Senator Biden's hair plugs, or Nancy Pelosi's Botox use. I don't think it's the same HOWEVER, one person did point out that Alaska is a place where exposure to UV rays is quite limited. Since we do know that vitamin D synthesis is necessary to support bone strength and bone health, I am going to wonder if she purchased this apparatus for minimal quick exposures to provide the 20 minutes, a couple of times weekly, that some health experts say we need for the vitamin D process to occur. I guess it's a possibility, though I know most people just take the daily dose of vitamin D from a supplement.
Bottom line? Barak Obama smokes - Sarah
Palin uses a tanning bed (I hope for the minimal exposures for health benefits) - and we have on our political scene imperfect humans. That's the news of the day.
Published On: September 24, 2008