Melanoma Monday: The Today Show Tries to Break Guinness World Record

On Monday, May 7th, the Today Show is going to try to break the Guinness World Record for “Most people applying sunscreen simultaneously.” The current record is 1,822 people, and the Today Show is inviting individuals to come to the studio and apply sunscreen in an effort to break that record. The event is being held in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month.

Spreading the word about skin protection

I’m not going to the Today Show for this event. But I love the idea of people gathering to apply sunscreen simultaneously and the publicity behind the event. I want people to start talking about protecting their skin from the sun. I want everyone, and young people in particular, to be aware of the damaging effects of being out in the sun without protection.

Saving lives by preventing years of sun damage

Growing up, I didn’t know the sun was bad for me when I spent every day of the summer either at the beach or on a lake in the mountains. Yes, every day, unless it was raining. Even then, we’d often wait for the rain to stop and then go to the beach or down to the lake. And we never thought about the sunburn that covered our knees, faces, and other body parts, other than how it hurt, and the only sunscreen I remember my parents putting on us is Coppertone #4. My parents didn’t know that being in the sun all day was damaging our skin. I feel that an event like the one the Today show is sponsoring will build awareness of the importance of wearing sunscreen. It can even save lives.

Small steps toward healthy skin

I wonder what sunscreen they’ll all be using? I wonder if people will be using the sunscreen that is provided by the Today Show or if they’ll bring their own. I’m asking because I only use one brand of sunscreen on my face. Other brands make me break out and or cause an allergic reaction. So, I’m always interested in hearing about different sunscreens. Many people I know don’t wear sunscreen at all. I think, actually I hope, that watching a group of people put on sunscreen together to break a world record may increase awareness of sun protection and perhaps persuade some individuals to think about and buy sunscreen, which is the first step toward using it.

A push in the right direction

I asked my colleague for his reaction to the Today Show idea yesterday as we sat in airport, waiting for our delayed flight home, and he dismissed it as a publicity stunt. But he already wears sunscreen every day. As we were waiting in the airport terminal, I started asking people around me for their opinions of the idea of trying to break the World’s Record for number of people putting on sunscreen at the same time. They each sighed, and told me they didn’t care, and that it seems like a silly idea. They started talking about how people simply stage different stunts to get in the Guinness Book of World Records, and this is another example of a stunt. They said they don’t usually wear sunscreen and that the event wouldn’t motivate them to do so. But who knows? The event may provide a push in the right direction. It may start a conversation or settle in the back of someone’s mind when they are out in the sun. I think it can’t hurt and can possibly help motivate individuals to use sunscreen. What do you think?

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