How To: Have a Fake Bake Day in Your School to Raise Awareness About Tanning Dangers

fake bake
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Fake bake = sunless or UV-free tanning that can be achieved through the use of cosmetic products. It’s a safer way to get you that bronze glow. A “fake bake” day is a great way to get the word out on the dangerous effects of tanning (both in the sun and in a tanning bed).

  1. Get the clearance. First, make sure your school’s administration is okay with you hosting an event like this. Ask: Can you post signs around your school? Can you set up a table to provide info on safe tanning options? Once you get the all clear, get to planning!
  2. Do some research. Gather some data for the signs and figure out how you want to present it. Do Something has some great info on the dangers of tanning both in the sun and on a bed!
  3. Investigate. See if you can find someone who has suffered firsthand the effects of tanning, like skin cancer or other severe skin damage. Ask if they’ll come in and speak or give you a quote you can use on your flyers. Can’t find one? How about a dermatologist or oncologist (cancer doc)?
  4. Image it. Sometimes pictures make stronger statements than words and are as much a part of the message as the chosen words, so don’t be afraid to use them. If that skin cancer survivor is willing to show her face, let her!
  5. People power. Now that you’ve got all this info, get some friends together to help you design and complete the posters or flyers. They can also help you put them up when you’re done. You’ll also need someone to sit at the table with you to hand out info and provide information.
  6. Variety is key. You want your fake bake to be successful, right? Mix up your strategy to get people’s attention:
  • Small flyers to pass out to people
  • Big, colorful posters to post around school; on lunchroom walls, in the hallway, on the doors by the entrances and exits. (Just be sure to get permission first!)
  • Timing is everything. A great time to do this is before a big dance when girls are making appointments at tanning salons, or before summer vacation, when your classmates are talking about baking in the sun. That way the info is fresh in their minds and they’ll think twice before roasting!
  • Be bold. Think of strange places you can put up posters and see if you can get permission to post them there, like the doors in bathroom stalls or in the locker rooms.
  • Post and repost. While going out one day and posting is great, keep in mind that people may rip down the posters or they make get damaged, so you’ll want to periodically repost your signs.
  • Table time. A display table is a great way to engage crowds that are passing by. Set it up somewhere that has high traffic (lunchroom? Front entrance or exit doors?). Be sure to have information available. Remember: make your stuff catchy to the eye! Use colors and images as much as possible and include those compelling facts that will get people thinking and taking action to be safe!
  • Details. Ask a local drug store to donate some self-tanning supplies, or maybe that dermatologist can bring in some samples. Be sure to tell them why and that it’s for a great cause!