Tonight's "True Life" explored the stories of two young people who were completely consumed by tanning. We had an opportunity to check in with them and find out how their lives have changed since filming wrapped -- take a look at the follow-ups below.
I can honestly say that sharing my story was crazy, because my year and a half of extreme tanning was one of the best of my entire life. I had some really good times with my friends. I had some really good tans, and I never felt more confident. I had never felt hotter, so I did some crazy stuff that I never thought I would do before.
But at the same time, I went through a self-analysis and a self-awakening that I think I really needed to have, because I didn't realize what my tanning was doing to myself and my family. It was immature to think that my actions didn't have consequences. I was educated about the risks of tanning but I thought I could just ignore them and act like I was going to be super tan and hot forever, and not actually be old and crusty and die from what I was doing to my body.
Having this experience helped me learn that at the end of the day, tanning isn't worth my life. Feeling good about yourself, your friends and family is what's important. I'm worth a lot more than my tan.
While I enjoyed the extra boost of confidence and the extra attention that I think I got from tanning, I realized that those feelings weren't worth hurting myself. I want others to love themselves for how they are regardless of the color of their skin.
Sharing my story with "True Life" was an amazing experience and was absolutely worth it. I feel like other people that watch my story can relate to the same struggles I have been going through. In telling my story, I wanted to show people the different reasons why a person might tan so much -- whether it's just to feel good or to help with insecurities.
This experience has opened my eyes to my addiction and now I'm starting to actually listen to people's concerns. I understand why, in the past, people called me "too dark," and I'm not offended anymore. The advice and support of my friends and family are what pushed me to think more positively about myself, and realize that I can still be beautiful while looking more natural.
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