I really like the juxtaposition of these two photographs from the 1920s. Not only do they make a cultural statement about skin and modesty, they also capture how different parts of the world feel about sun worshiping.
A Japanese woman and her friend are the picture of modesty wading at the beach. Her pale skin is protected by a parasol.
In the United States though, people in the twenties were beginning to slip out of their clothes and into the sun. Tanned skin had become a fashionable accessory and beach side sunning booths, like this solarium in St. Petersburg Fl., touted the healthful effects of the sun.
I suppose mostly to this day the two different cultures are somewhat the same in regards to tanning and or sunning. While we might not have solariums like this anymore in the states, people still relish sunning their bodies at the beach and tanning salons have become big business.
But the effects of the sun on the skin have been well documented. If you do go out in the sun, please don't forget to use your sunscreen.