Sure, there must have been some evolutionary advantage to fair skin, blue eyes and blonde hair when living in the frozen wastelands of Northern Europe back in the day. Perhaps this coloration helped prehistoric the Scandinavian blend into the snowbanks thus avoiding predators and enemies...
But tundral camouflage aside, what is the advantage? I see the drawbacks! The sun must be weaker in Sweden, or the summers cold enough to keep mostly covered all year round, otherwise Sven and Lena would have died out of carcinomas before Oslo was even an idea! Imagine! A world without Lefse! Sure those blonde-haired beauties with the eyes like the fjords on a clear day are certainly eye candy. On them, the milk-white skin looks lovely.
But flowered vests and puff-sleeved shirts would be out of place here in Lakewood, as is skin, the color of a fish's belly! So, once the weather turns nice, I try and spend as much time as possible in the sun to try and get "that healthy glow."
Wait right there! I know what you're thinking, you're thinking about the sunburns. I do wear sunscreen, but it does not make a difference... I burn all the time. I could wear SPF 4000 (essentially like wearing a lead umbrella) and still burn in a surprisingly short time. So, I've learned to take my sun in short doses and spend long periods between in the shade.
The dermatologist that I went to recommended me off most of the gimmicky sun blocks that are out there that claim to block all sun rays all day long. Instead, she recommended a good sun screen SPF 40 worn pretty-much all year 'round and keeping sun exposure down to an hour or less at a time.
This weekend, I got my hour-at-a-time doses frequently, it was such a lovely weekend. I took a few bike rides, took Saga to her park, went swimming, and did some gardening. And even with the protection, I am a bit sunburned. Not enough to be painful, but enough to put some color other than white on my face and arms!
Wherever you are today, I hope you'll wear your sunscreen and have a great day!
Don Bergquist - June 16, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA
State of Kansas Disclaimer
To those of you located in the state of Kansas, please note Evolution is a theory... Reference to the evolutionary theory in the second paragraph was used in deference to science. Please take no offense that the author chooses to reference a scientific theory rather than the mystic mumbo-jumbo your legislature has chosen to label as "science."