Snooki of Jersey Shore fame was quoted as saying that there should be tanning beds in every home, according to US weekly.
Marybeth Hicks, a parenting book writer, told US Weekly, "It's disconcerting that [she] could have any sort of influence or be a role model ... or advocate something like tanning beds that could cause cancer."
"The notion that these people are celebrities at all give them credibility they should not have," she fumed.
The study discussed by Reuters did not ask the specific names of the shows the students watched, so the researchers cannot determine if particular shows contributed to excess tanning.
Researcher Fogel told Reuters that he felt that the shows may be influencing young people into thinking that tanning as something cool to do.
At the same time, he suggested that if it also possible that people who are tanners in the first place are drawn to these types of shows because “the characters look more like them”.
In any case, tanning is associated with increased risk of skin cancer. Since it is clear that celebrities do influence watchers in some fashion, publicizing more celebrities embracing “pale skin” and cautioning young people to not use tanning beds or over tan outdoors is one way the media could increase awareness.
The Impact of Role Models on Sun Protective Behaviours: Expert Paper by Lynne Eagle, Gill Kemp, Simon Jones, Julia Verne. Retrieved Jan. 18, 2013.
Joshua Fogel, PhD and Faye Krausz. Watching reality television beauty shows is associated with tanning lamp use and outdoor tanning among college student. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Published online 26 December 2012. http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(12)01240-6/abstract
Reality TV beauty show viewers more likely to tan: study. Reuters.com. Retrieved Jan. 18, 2013.
Jersey Shore's Snooki Slammed for Promoting Tanning. US Weekly. Retrieved Jan. 18, 2013.