Pretty Shady have got you covered

Pretty Shady

Preparation for a music festival is an incredibly meticulous business… the irony of spending hours/days considering an outfit that will make you appear effortlessly cool, the agonising over which bands to see/miss in those inevitable set clashes, checking approximately 1000 times that you have your ticket before you leave the house… It’s a stressful affair.

However, considering just how much thought goes into festival planning, there is one important thing that we all invariably forget. Namely that we’re all going to be standing/sitting/passed out in blazing hot, direct sunlight for about eight hours, non-stop. And did we remember to apply sunscreen? Of course not.

Yup, even though we’re constantly told of the life-threatening danger of over-exposure to the sun, too many of us head to music festivals sans hat and sunscreen. Why? Is it an “it won’t happen to me” attitude? Is it desensitisation towards scare-tactic marketing? Is it the simple fact that you cannot see the harm until it’s too late? Or is it just that we had to run to catch the bus or risk missing Courtney Barnett, meaning there was zero time to slop on some sunscreen?

Whatever the reason, there is no denying the facts. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and it’s the most common cancer affecting young Australians. Two out of three young people will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. Let’s repeat that. TWO OUT OF THREE.

Thankfully our good chums at Pretty Shady are doing something about it (Pretty Shady, in case you didn’t know, was established in 2013 to inspire young Australians to be part of the generation that stops skin cancer). On Sunday, they headed along to Laneway Festival in Sydney and set about making sure people were properly covered from the sun. They did this by dishing out more sunscreen than you can shake a stick at, and also by arming a photographer with a UV camera lens.

Why a UV lens? Well, because sun damage isn’t visible to the naked eye, a UV camera lens unveils what the sun is really doing to young people’s skin and what impact using sunscreen has in protecting it. So, the photographer captured three different images of one person, the first without UV lens (i.e. naked eye), the second with UV lens (showing sun damage) and the third with UV lens + sunscreen (showing protection it gives). The results are pretty remarkable/absolutely terrifying. Have a look…

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Stopping sun damage can stop 95% of melanomas. So if you are going out in the sun at all, do the sensible thing and cover up like these fine folk did at Laneway Festival, Sydney last week.

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For more information on what Pretty Shady do and what they are all about, be sure to take some time to check out their website.

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Words by Bobby Townsend.