Kim Kardashian has always had an uncanny ability to spark outrage, but her latest controversy was pretty unexpected.
Earlier this week the 43-year-old reality star found herself at the center of another social media frenzy when she gave fans a tour of her SKKN by Kim office. While it may not surprise TikTokers to see any old influencer using a tanning bed—though topical alternatives and cancer-related risks have rendered the machine pretty passé—commenters were surprised to see one in the office of a skin-care-focused brand.
“I’m Kim Kardashian—of course I have a tanning bed and a red light bed in my office,” she said in the TikTok video, which follows the model of the recent “I'm ____, of course” trend. Well, it looks like “of course” may have been a stretch in this particular instance.
“Wait I'm shocked about the tanning bed,” one commenter replied to the video, echoing the statement of many viewers. More concerning, one user inquired, “So can I go back into the tanning beds if Kim Kardashian does?” That comment received more than 900 likes.
Having spent over a decade on television and accumulating 9.4 million followers on TikTok alone, Kardashian is kind of the influencer of all influencers. So it makes sense that this caused concern among TikTok dermatologists and other viewers, many of whom pointed out that Kim's sister Khloé Kardashian had a melanoma tumor removed from her face in October 2022.
Allure even published an article with the headline “Please, Kim Kardashian, Don't Try to Normalize Tanning Beds,” in which the publication pointed out that, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “more than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,200 melanomas.”
However, Kim Kardashian defended her tanning bed use on X.com, noting that she uses her tanning bed to help treat her psoriasis, the autoimmune disease she's been battling since she was 25 years old. “I have psoriasis and it really helps when it's bad,” she replied to Allure's article. “But I don't use it too often.”
Currently the National Psoriasis Association “does not support the use of indoor tanning beds as a substitute for phototherapy performed with a prescription and under a health care provider’s supervision.” Furthermore, the organization notes that “the beneficial effect for psoriasis is attributed primarily to UVB light,” as opposed to UVA light typically found in commercial tanning beds.
But even if Kardashian's tanning bed uses UVB light, or the skin care mogul is following advice from her medical team, none of this was mentioned in her TikTok video, which has 16.4 million views and counting. As one X.com user replied, “Still don't try to normalize it, or at least state why you're using it. Your followers would be using it without knowing why.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour