Belfast Telegraph

Nicola Roberts backs sunbed ban

Nicola Roberts is backing a call for tanning salons to ban under 18s from using sunbeds.

The Girls Aloud singer admitted she felt pressured to have a tan when she was a youngster.

She said: "I was once in a place where I did feel a pressure to have a tan - having a tan made me feel more attractive, it made me feel more accepted and as a young girl being very influenced by peers, by media, by everybody in society, that was just the way I felt... without having a tan I didn't feel attractive, I just didn't feel very good at all."

The singer said a recent trip to her home city of Liverpool left her shocked after she realised how many young girls were using sunbeds.

Nicola - who's making a documentary about the dangers of the tanning industry - said: "Actually, going into the streets of Liverpool and interviewing the young girls who are obsessed with having a tan and feeling like they had to be brown to be seen as attractive, that whole mentality that they had gathered was just a bigger problem than I ever thought it was."

Hollyoaks actress Gemma Merna also gave her support to Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan's private member's bill.

The 25-year-old said: "I started to use sunbeds once or twice a week with my friends when I was 15 but never realised the risks that I was putting my skin through just to get the perfect tan. When I was younger I just wanted to look tanned and to fit in with everyone and didn't give any thought to the risks I was taking. I now realise the damage that sunbeds can do and support any move to ban them to under 18s."

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