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Protecting against the sun's rays is poetry in lotion

Yes, JLo, Barbie, Britney Spears

Each one, a bronze female,

Have served to prove, throughout the years,

That tan is in, not pale

It seems we live in times of trial:

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Teen trumpets "tans are hot!"

Although I languish in denial:

The fact is that I'm not.

The sad, unlucky populace

With alabaster hues

Must spend the summer in disgrace

And suffer much abuse.

Your legs could light a darkened room

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My sun-kissed crony crows

While I sit nursing, in the gloom,

a red and peeling nose.

I'll show them yet! I ache to cry

I'll end this pasty stint

I pray to sun gods in the sky

To send to me some tint.

And so it is with hopes and dreams

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Each year in early may

I venture out, without sunscreen

Into the blazing day.

I hope that I might catch some rays

Or get a tan -- almost

But just like all the other Mays,

By twelve o'clock, I'm toast.

I march inside and dig around

For aloe vera gel

And then apply it, by the pound

That it might make me well.

Reproachfully I lie in bed

And stare upon the wall

Then curse my current state of red

And Baywatch lifeguards all.

A few years back, (or so I'm told)

When pale could still contend,

No magazine would be so bold

To say that we should spend

Our nights and weekends at the mall

Inside the tanning booth

We wouldn't have to tan at all!

Our pallor not uncouth!

But sad you see, the times have changed,

A healthy glow is sought

The sunless tanners are arranged

In every beauty shop.

Oh brothers, sisters of the land

Of SPF five-oh

Let's join together, and in hand,

And in our unit go

Toward the arctic circle where

Snowsuits are always in

They value freckles, reddish hair

And pale, translucent skin

My spiteful wailings all aside

(I'm sorry that I moan)

Embrace the shade and share with pride

The perks of Coppertone!

The silver lining of this plight

(forgive my sounding smug)

is sunscreen stops the UV light

and helps preserve one's mug.

The risk of cancer, wrinkles, spots,

Are easily reduced,

So as the weather's getting hot,

Resist! Don't be seduced!

Mikaela Hagen is a junior at Mayo High School. To respond to an opinion column, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 559036118 or send e-mail to teenbeat@postbulletin.com.

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