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.