Student accused of 'blackface' after her addiction to tanning has left her looking a 'different race'
Most people love having a tan - and why wouldn't they? When I've got a tan, I look healthier, more defined, and in better shape. It's generally considered more acceptable to look like you've been out and about topping up your vitamin D rather than slumming your summer away in your parent's basement. However, as Jersey Shore has taught us, tans can go way too far.
Many of us will be fully aware of the health risks that come with the different methods of tanning. One study states that using sunbeds can increase the risk of skin cancer by 16% - 20%, Cancer Research UK reports. And even walking around unprotected in the summer sun carries its risks - with many health bodies reminding us to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat."
Regardless of the warnings, every summer we see people flock to the beach in order to top up their tan. But now, one UK-based student has come under fire for tanning to such an extreme degree that many people have accused her of attempting to "blackface".
This is the interview that left viewers accusing the 22-year-old of racism:
Hannah Tittensor, 22, a beauty therapy student from Belfast, Northern Ireland, revealed she has been using under-the-counter tanning injections called Melanotan, along with prolonged exposure under sunlight or sunbeds.
Hannah was joined by her partner Ben Dunlop, 23, who also uses the injections and has been using sunbeds since he was 15 years old.
However, when Hannah was asked about the online reaction to her striking look, she revealed she has received comments suggesting she should take her own life. "I get really shallow things like, I would be better off killing myself", she told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
Willoughby then asked Hannah about when or if she plans to stop using the injections, to which the student replied: "Possibly soon. Possibly soon."
Some viewers' took to Twitter to question the mental health of Hannah and Ben, arguing that their need to tan is an addiction that needs to be dealt with first.
However, others were much less sympathetic, and said that the couple's desire to darken their skin to such a degree is "racist" and "blackfishing" (that is; a caucasian person's desire to look black):
The UK's National Health Service state on their official website: "Anyone currently using Melanotan should stop doing so immediately for their own safety. The drug has not been safety tested by the UK medicines safety agency. Users are advised to consult their GP for advice."