DR WALLACE: I read in your column that a dermatologist told you no suntan is good for the recipient. That may be true, but every girl I know thinks a tan makes her more attractive and healthy-looking.
Who wants to look as light as a sheet? I want to look cool now as a 17-year-old young woman. I really don't care that when I'm 50, I'll have more wrinkles than a lady who looked like a ghost when she was 18. I've tried using spray-on gunk that makes you look like a bronze goddess, but that just doesn't cut it for me.
You give good advice about avoiding sex and laying off drugs, alcohol and tobacco products, but you are "burned out" when it comes to tanning.
It could be that looking healthy is a girl thing. If so, then I forgive you. — Anonymous, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
ANONYMOUS: When it comes to this health issue, I can only restate these well-known facts: When the sun or a tanning booth changes the pigment in the skin to a darker color, damage has been caused. How much damage a particular individual's skin can handle varies among all people, but don't be fooled: We are all susceptible to skin damage via prolonged exposure to the sun's rays.
It's up to the readers to decide what's best for them, but I do feel much better that you have forgiven me. Thank you. Also, please remember to lather up generously with an effective sunscreen when you venture out in the sun, and always wear sunglasses to protect your beautiful eyes.
I IGNORE SPORTS, YET MANY PAY RAPT ATTENTION
DR. WALLACE: I hate sports and athletics in general. It's just not my thing. I really don't understand why society gives so much attention to people who get paid vast sums of money to basically work out in front of a lot of other people. I personally feel that people who help cure diseases and mentor those in need are really better role models and should get more attention and pay.
I know I am young as a 16-year-old, but it really baffles me to my core why sports are so important to our American society — and even to those around the world. It seems every country on earth goes crazy for the World Cup soccer tournament every four years. Why are sports so important? And why are the players and coaches paid so much? — Non-Sports Girl, via email
NON-SPORTS GIRL: I'm impressed with your ability to state the wonder you feel as you note many others around you fawning over sports, athletes and those who coach them. Part of the answer actually lies in your question. I'll start with the World Cup tournament. This provides a great opportunity for each participating nation to embrace national pride while rooting for their country's team. National politics and regional differences simply melt away as a nation unifies to root for its fellow citizens. So, national pride does comprise one important answer to your question.
As to sports within a nation, there is a great sense of a shared experience when attending a sporting event. It's also a form of entertainment just as a major music concert, Broadway play, home and garden show or county fair would be. In addition, many men and women played and participated in a sport or several sports while growing up. This makes them natural fans as they grow older, and many enjoy watching the top athletes in the sport that drives their passion. And the pay is simply driven by supply and demand in sports as it is in music, the arts, business and several other competitive fields. The top talents are paid the top salaries due to the monetary returns they help generate with their participation.
For you, sports may never be important, but I trust you may enjoy music or some other personal hobbies that not everyone else does. That's what is so wonderful about our country — to each their own!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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