Minor concern

The masthead of D. E. T reads ‘Health ; Wellbeing’. The ampersand is actually inside an apple, which appears to have been taken a bite out of. The reader might link this to the say: ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away. ‘ In order to stop visiting the doctor, they have to actually eat the apple to stay healthy. Underneath the masthead is the slogan; it can be easily noticed, because after the title of the paper draws in the reader, their eyes would automatically travel down and catch the vision of the slogan. The size of the font decreases as the reader nears the main text.

The headline, the strapline, the standfirst; each one smaller than the previous. An abstract funnel shape appears which draws the reader in, and as the reader’s concentration increase, the font size decreases. The photograph of Lynne dickens is positioned on the right of the page, and it takes up almost half the space, thus very eye-catching. In the picture her hair has been pushed back to reveal the whole face and the full effect of the sun – the cancer sores.

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A close-up of her reveals detailed expressions, i. e. the mournful look in her eyes and the fact that she’s not smiling, as if something is troubling her. This has connotations of distress and remorse. In the picture, she appears to have eye make-up on to draw attention away from the rest of her face. The blank background seems to be a window, which she is leaning against and looking out of. This implicates that she regrets what she had done, and wish things had happened differently. Moreover it illustrates her desire to go outside, into the sun, but can’t because of her own mistake.

The reason why the editor decided to portray an older woman, rather than someone from the younger generation is that it shows that long-term effects of tanning, and really make the readers think about their future. In the corner there is another block of text, which gives advice on what symptoms to look for. We can tell that it’s not part of the main story because the font style and size are different. However it is still relevant to the main subject, so the subheading is made bold to gain the reader’s attention.

The language in these articles ahs been used to create certain effects, to target the readership and be fit for purpose. In text one, ‘Sun vampires’, the headline itself is an oxymoron; ‘Sun’ often links in with the light, whereas ‘Vampires’ are usually associated with the dark – this ironic combination of words arouses the reader’s curiosity, thus they will read on. Moreover the readerships, which are young, enjoy things that are scary, mysterious and dramatic; the very word ‘Vampires’ would draw any teenager in.

Furthermore, vampires have links with death; the writer, Cayte Williams appears to be hinting that tanning is a death sentence. The first word of the strapline, ‘they’re’ immediately indicates that the writer wants to isolate the ‘tanorexics’ from ‘normal people’, because she disagrees with them. In addition, the fact that it’s in present tense suggests that these things are happening right this minute. The writer sees tanning as an addiction, like drugs. Evidence of this can be found in the strapline: ‘desperate for a fix’. This shows conveys that this is a very serious issue, not just a minor concern.

The word ‘hours’ indicates that they are wasting their time on tanning. Following ‘hours’ comes ‘incarcerated’; it has connotations of torture and implies that the people who use sunbeds are killing themselves intentionally. The writer views using sunbeds as an unnatural habit, because ‘hi-tech’ things are usually man-made. ‘Coffins’ are associated with death, and reinforces the idea of self-destruction. At the end of the strapline, the writer introduces a neologism, ‘tanorexics’. It is a made-up word, a pun on ‘anorexics’, which is a very medical and modern term.

The reason why the writer has chosen to combine ‘tan’ with ‘anorexics’ is that similar to anorexics, this group of people is also obsessed with self-image and lacks confidence. In the opening paragraph, Williams describes the sunbed as ‘a big plastic cocoon’ and uses phrases such as ‘strange humming noise’ and ‘abducted by aliens’. These make the whole experience sound like a weird and unusual sensation, almost an abnormal behaviour, hence estranging these ‘tanorexics’; the use of a rhetorical question helps to emphasise this objective. Factual information is provided to justify the writer’s heavily opinionated opening paragraph.

The facts have been quoted from a reliable source – The Imperial Cancer Research Fund; people are more likely to believe a professional, thus it makes the article sound more plausible. Furthermore, the evidence: factsheet, supplied by the ICRF adds weight to the argument and contrasts the light-hearted, humorous language used at the beginning. This shows that the issue is serious and is becoming a big crisis. The writer has chosen this particular organisation because the main concern of tanning is the possibility of getting cancer, and this concern is growing every day.