Despite how dorky I look, I do it everyday from May until November.  I douse my face with sunscreen and wear a big straw hat visor.  There is no way I’m going to grow old and wrinkly without a fight.

One of the key things that scared me into sun-protection-submission is the website, In20Years.  I warn you, it can be harsh.  Basically you post a current picture of your face and then the “magic formula” adds 20 years to it based off your lifestyle.  Yikes!

Now imagine yourself 20 years from now PLUS a ton of sun damage.  Yike 10X!

But then it dawned on me.  Maybe this fear of sun damage can be a real source of change.

Global warming is undeniable. And yet there is a large contingent in this country who deny it.  When scientific data didn’t impress these naysayers, we then played into a fear of business failure thanks to the effects of climate change.  And when THAT didn’t work, there was arguments made by the military that our dependence on the ozone-depleting energy source, gasoline, were harmful to the success of military efforts too.

It seems nothing is working.

But maybe we can change that.  What if we used yet another tactic?  What if we preyed on people’s vanity?  What if we showed how people would look, not in 20 years, but, say, 5 years thanks to the increasing thinning of the ozone layer.  The math is easy: more sun = more wrinkles, sun spots and leathery skin.

You may say most people aren’t as vain as me (though, remember, I walk around in a dorky hat everyday so how vain can I be?).  Or you may say aren’t we demeaning the severity of the issue by connecting it to beauty?

I’m not the only one who has taken this route.  Let’s look at anti-smoking campaigns for a sec.

Like global warming, cigarette smoking is SUPER dangerous.  And no one can deny it’s a killer.  But it also kills your skin cells and libido. After years of trying to scare Americans’ with messages about early and horrible death, the FDA recently changed course.  They now prey on people’s vanity.  Campaigns turned from death to limp dicks, blackened teeth and ugly skin.

So maybe we have an opportunity here.  I’m not discounting the other arguments.  I only WISH people were affected by them.  But when we’re in a situation where nothing seems to work sometimes the seemingly frivolous is the answer.  In this case losing our beauty may just be the impetus we need to get people scared enough to change their minds.

In the meantime, I’ll keep looking like a dork.  Or maybe I’ll just start a new trend!


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