Student Addicted to Getting 'Super-Tan' Accused of Black Face | 22 Words

A tan is a good look, right? It makes us look healthy and we've all received a compliment about how great we look when we've just come back from vacation, right?

But one twenty-two-year-old student from Belfast has taken tanning one step too far. Hannah Tittensor uses sunbeds three times a week for fifteen minutes at a time. She can’t live without them and, on top of that, she uses illegal tanning jabs to top up her tan. Now she's so dark that she’s been mistaken for a woman of another race.

The twenty-two-year-old claims that her “extreme tan” is, in fact, “pretty harmless,” even though cancer runs in her family...

The addiction began when she was a teenager. Hannah got hooked on fake tanning products, but later swapped the fake tan for tanning beds. It makes her “complexion a lot nicer and glowing,” she says.

Keep scrolling to find out more.

Hannah was actually quite fair-skinned when she was a teenager.

But now she uses illegal tanning injections to keep up her deep tan.

Hannah’s boyfriend, Ben Dunlop, twenty-three, introduced her to sunbeds.

"All girls that I see on Instagram and all girls that I know get a spray tan so why not do sunbeds instead of wearing make-up on your body?" says Hannah.

But she's been receiving an incredible amount of backlash or her severe bronzing recently.

And we can kind of see why... Some have taken it a little too far, though. Keep reading to see how the internet has reacted to Hannah's tanning.

Hannah admitted that she’d been doing Melanotan shots.

These injections are banned, but they're all-the-rage in Belfast.

Melanotan injections enhance the levels of melanin in your body.

Melanin is a natural pigment in the skin which causes your skin to go a darker shade when exposed to ultraviolet rays, be it from sunlight or sunbeds.

The vial is mixed with water and is injected under the skin.

Hannah and her boyfriend take roughly one international unit dosage every time they use it.

Melanotan is popular with bodybuilders.

The shots are used by bodybuilders to make their bodies evenly tanned for shows and competitions. Having a deep tan makes their muscles stand out more.

Hannah’s partner also uses the injections.

Ben and Hannah do the injections roughly once a month prior to using the sunbeds. They don’t seem to mind the fact the injections can cause sickness.

Hannah was wary about doing the injections in the first place, though. She wasn't keen on the thought of injecting herself with the product.

“It made me feel quite sick like a cold sensation in my stomach. It was for a few days and then it went away," she said.

Ben, Hannah’s boyfriend, reacted badly to the injection.

He’d purchased some of the shots online, which left him hospitalized. They gave Ben an abscess in his stomach.

The hospital then discovered that it was a bacterial infection.

Although the reaction was caused by something in the product, rather than the needle, it hasn’t completely put Ben off doing it again. He just doesn’t buy the injections online anymore...

Hannah doesn’t think that there’s anything wrong with doing the shots.

“I absolutely love the color I go and much prefer this than spray or fake tan that’s smelly and makes you feel dirty. And it gets all over your clothes and bed," she noted.

Both Hannah and her boyfriend are aware of the risks.

As well as the possible side effects of the substance, there are also other likely risks. Using non-sterile water to prepare the injections can trigger life-threatening blood infections, not to mention blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV through sharing needles. But Hannah and Ben still carry on using them.

The NHS advises people not to use Melanotan.

This is because it hasn’t been tested and is illegal. That said, the drug can be purchased online or under the counter at some gyms and beauty salons.

Hannah was recently interviewed on UK TV show, This Morning.

Presenter, Phillip Schofield, read out a statement from an NHS spokesperson, which declared that, “Anyone using Melanotan should immediately stop using for your own safety. It has not been safety tested by the UK Medicine Safety Agency. Users should stop using immediately."

After the caution, Hannah announced that she would scrap the injections.

“I’ll go back to fake tan," she announced, adding that she wasn't aware of the risks. We don't know, we can't really see her quitting any time soon...

She gets quite a bit of hate online.

Social media users began hurling hate messages at Hannah after she revealed her incredibly dark post-holiday skin for the first time after her trip to Turkey.

People accused Hannah of looking like an alien.

And others told her that she was trying to look like a black woman. Hannah insisted that that wasn't her intention.

She simply likes the way her skin looks when it’s tanned...

"It's become more of like an obsession, a need to be tanned more than to actually feel better when I'm actually tanned," she says.

The social media posts about Hannah started getting pretty cruel.

According to Daily Mail, one person posted, “No tan is worth that much sacrifice to your health. I don't understand why more people can't just embrace their natural skin colors,"

Another accused Hannah’s parents of being the culprits.

via: Twitter

This Twitter-user thought that her parents should have educated their daughter about the health risks of her habit.

Someone even went as far to tell Hannah that she’d be better off killing herself...

"Online I get a lot of hate for it. Such bad things. Shallow things. I'd be better off killing myself. Such horrible things just for a tan," Hannah said, commenting on the awful posts directed at her.

Hannah regularly posts pictures of herself on her Instagram page.

“I have a few people obviously who do say nice things," she said. “[But] if you type in ‘blackface’ on Instagram, or even Google, my name will come up. Just for having a tan. Quite an extreme tan, I know that," Hannah said on the TV show, Hooked on the Look.

She maintains that she has no bad intentions.

“Maybe it's just because I'm used to looking at myself, so I don't understand if it's too much. I just see myself as 'this is me now'," she said.

Hannah likes the way that a deep tan makes her look.

“One of the main reasons I do it is I don’t need to wear much makeup," she said. “Tanned skin looks better and it saves me lots of time going out or to work."

But cancer runs in her family.

Hannah doesn't seem to mind, though: “Cancer does run in my family. I'd probably be more prone to getting skin cancer. I think it's obviously just a matter of getting moles checked."

Hannah’s sister, Rachel, is very worried.

"She's really dark but she doesn't think it," Rachel said. "Her whole image is to do with insecurity. Without all that, she's absolutely stunning."

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

In fact, around nine-thousand, five-hundred people in the US are diagnosed with it every day. And one in five people will develop it, says American Academy of Dermatology.

Do you know the skin cancer warning signs?

Look out for changes in size, shape or color of moles and other skin lesions. Also, if a new growth appears on your skin, or you have a sore that doesn't heal, get them checked.

It’s best to stay out of indoor tanning beds.

And to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays – seek shade, wear protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of thirty or above. What are your thoughts on all this? Is what Hannah's doing offensive, or just dangerous?