In an outrageous example of a major beauty brand marketing to women’s (manufactured) insecurities, as opposed to our intelligence, this ad for the new Suave Professionals Visible Glow Self-Tanning Body Lotions just got added to our Hall of Shame #NotBuyingIt list.

We’re not really sure where to begin with how wrong and unhealthy this messaging is, but we would like to start by asking, “What brand marketing person signed off on this?”

The product is nothing new… it’s a self-tanner. But what IS new is Suave’s play on SPF. They have twisted the acronym for Sun Protection Factor, which refers to the stuff that actually protects our skin from the harmful rays of the sun, to be Suave’s new SFP “So Freakin’ Pale” Index.

The beauty brand designed this handy index to help women see where they fall on the skin tone spectrum, “from ghostly to glamorous,” because as Suave puts it, “paleness can be a bit of a problem.”

To rectify this apparent affliction being suffered by women everywhere, Suave was good enough to hand out samples of their new product to the “palest of the pale” among us. Why? Because as they say, “every girl deserves to glow.”

Timna Understein Melanoma WarriorIn the YouTube description of the ad spot, Suave asks, “Sick of feeling So Freakin’ Pale?” We wonder if they asked anyone with melanoma this question? We know melanoma warrior, Timna Understein, who has bravely battled this disease twice since 2008 along with a Primary Acquired Melanosis of her left eye in 2012, revels in the beauty of pale skin. She’d likely be a bit more Sick of Feeling So Freakin’ Worried That Her Cancer Will Come Back.

In our estimation, this ad and its message is SFP… So Freakin’ Pathetic!

You Should Know

Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers1. Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old2.

So practice sun safety and get your pale on people!