Dear Abby: Should girl, 12, get a spray tan?

SHARE Dear Abby: Should girl, 12, get a spray tan?

DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband has suggested and arranged for a series of spray-tan sessions for my 12-year-old daughter. I feel that telling my preteen girl that she should spray tan is sending her the wrong message, and we should instead be teaching her that she’s beautiful just the way she is.

How do you feel about this? Should I allow my 12- year-old daughter to tan? — TAN OR NOT IN TEXAS

DEAR TAN OR NOT: NO! Your ex-husband may mean well, but unless a product is 100 percent safe, I cannot endorse using it on a minor child.

According to Darrell Rigel, M.D., professor of dermatology at New York University, any absorption of DHA — the main ingredient in spray tans — can pose a potential risk of genetic mutations, especially in repeated users of the product and those in higher risk groups such as pregnant women and young children. (By the way, salon workers who apply these products repeatedly throughout the workday should also be aware of this.)

For more information about this, visit: The ABC investigative report is a must-read. Frankly, it curled my hair.

DEAR ABBY: I work at an urban high school. Recently there was a campus-wide fundraising campaign during which one of the teachers sold brownies. A student bought all of them for $1 each, then resold them at lunch for $2 apiece for his own profit.

My co-workers insist this was wrong, while I feel it was representative of an enterprising spirit. My co-workers say it was immoral to make money off a fundraising event. I maintain that the charity was already paid for the brownies, and what he did with them after he bought them is immaterial. What do you think? — WONDERING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR WONDERING: Having purchased the brownies, the student could dispose of them as he wished. If other students were willing to spend $2 for $1 brownies, well — that’s capitalism. Perhaps next year the teacher who sold the brownies should raise her rates.

DEAR ABBY: Why do friends ignore a woman after being friends for many years because she is now widowed?

I am not the only one who says this. At the senior center they all agree. I’m willing to pay my way for dinner, concerts, movies, etc. I don’t expect anyone to pick up my tab. Still, I am no longer invited to lunch or dinner gatherings.

Someday, these friends may be in my position. They claim to be kind and caring individuals, and I miss them. I have invited them over, but they never reciprocate. What can I do? — LONELY WIDOW IN FORT MYERS, FLA.

DEAR WIDOW: Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change the behavior of the people you thought were your friends.

However, that doesn’t mean you must live in isolation. There are things you can do to lessen the loneliness you’re experiencing. Chief among them would be to cultivate new interests and, along with them, new friends.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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