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We all know it is important to be sun safe. We are really great at putting our kids in rashies, hats and sunscreen. But when it comes to protecting our own skin, like so many other things, us Mums don’t enforce the same rules for ourselves!

So, why don’t we practice what we preach when it comes to sun protection?

Being ‘sun kissed’ is (still) beautiful

Don’t believe me? Look at the tanned models selling sunscreen. Look at the 100+ tanning products sold at Priceline and the number of beauty shops offering a spray-tan service (I live in the suburbs of Melbourne and there are 10 within 5 kms of my house!).

Or, simply just take note of the comments you receive when you return from a family holiday in Bali: ‘you don’t look like you’ve been to Bali’. All. Day. Long.

The power of fitting in

I am a perfectly imperfect woman with #paleskinproblems and insecurities – insecurities about my body and my skin in particular. And those insecurities sometimes make me choose to wear or do things that are illogical because I don’t want to stand out.

No one wants to be the only person wearing jeans at a wedding, in much the same way, no one wants to be the only women wearing a rashie poolside!

Even if it is subconscious, we often want to fit in – and if we are insecure (like, for instance, when we are in our swimwear) we’ll more likely to want to dress by the rules.

We are fashion-conscious

How many times has your husband started a sentence with, “you don’t need to put that on, we’re only going to …”

It doesn’t matter where I am going, I want to look good when I get there! This means I will wear mascara on bushwalks, style my hair before swim class and change out of my trackies to buy milk.

Most women are fashion-conscious. Playing with, and defining, our own style gives us our identity and is fun!

 As I read what I have just written, I am saddened by how superficial it all seems.

My take on it is this – at the macro level, our cultural belief that being ‘sun-kissed’ is beautiful, needs to change.

Whilst we have come a long way since the days of lathering our bodies with oil, we still have a long way to go. This is not something I can change on my own or something that will change overnight.

But on a micro level, I can do something – and I have. In addition to breaking bad habits, I am advocating, educating and practicing being sun safe.  I am setting a good example for my kids.  I am treating my body with the same level of care as I do my kids.  And I have become so obsessed with protecting my skin that I even created a sun protection alternative for women that is, first and foremost, fashionable! And I’m not the only one on this mission, so you’re going to be seeing #fashies (fashionable + rashie), waterwear and swim tees everywhere this summer. And that is exciting!

So, before summer sneaks up on us, have a look around to find a contemporary rashie for you – no matter the type of style, please just make sure the garment is clearly labeled as providing certified UPF 50+ protection, the highest possible rating (the rating of the rashies we make our kids wear!), chuck on a big floppy hat and sunscreen the hell out of yourself!

Found a great rashie to wear to the beach? Share with us in the comments!

Image source Shutterstock

  • Thanks! Loved some of these ideas. I find it so hard to keep a household with a toddler and one on the way.

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  • Very important to be protected in the sun.

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  • I hear ya but… rashies can be really hot (I find they retain heat), and as a big busted woman, I find they almost strangle me. It’s hard to find one that would fit me comfortably. Having said that, I am far more sun smart than I used to be and make every effort to be sun smart (hat, SPF50+, much less time in the sun).

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  • Having had a BCC taken out I know the dangers of tooo much sun exposure.

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  • Comfort goes before fashion for me. No high heels, no mascara, lipstick or any make-up for me please. As for sun, I sure like to catch a 5-10 minutes of sun a couple of times a day, just because it’s good for you. The light and warmth of the sun lifts your mood and it’s power nourishes your body with vitamin D.

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  • Agree about covering up in our Aussie sun, but don’t take it too far. Queensland children are now being treated for rickets because they are not getting enough sun on their bodies. Early morning and late afternoon is the time for kids and ourselves to be out in the mild sunlight getting our very needed Vitamin D intake.

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  • yes this is standard western cultural perception of beauty. All cultures are different.

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  • We always cover up as there is nothing fashionable about the damage caused to skin by the sun.


    • Setting your own trend is important too.

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  • oh I am the worst at being fashionable – sometimes I wish that I could just pull on some clothes and make them work effortlessly but I just dont have that skill!

    I wear pieces that I love and most of the time those pieces are jeans and a top – as long as I feel comfortable and not stressing about my clothes then I am perfectly happy


    • Perfect – there is nothing better than being comfortable and happy!

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  • I always wear a rashie on the rare occasions I go for a swim.

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  • I would have no problem wearing jeans to a wedding (I’ve actually done it already) and no problem covering up poolside or at the beach (also done) I do and wear what makes me feel comfortable

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  • Prior to rashies we wore long sleeved cotton T-shirts. We wear long loose slacks/ trousers. I find with denim jeans if the sun is on my legs they feel as though they are burning. While it looks old fashioned I don’t care. I wear a wide brimmed hat to shade my face anbd my neck more. My 8 year old claimed my first wide brimmed hat so I bought myself another one. The younger one (a boy) prefers a legionairre hat.

    Reply

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