Skin cancer prevention and fashion – frontier bedfellows

Antrobus, Jodie & Brough, Dean (2013) Skin cancer prevention and fashion – frontier bedfellows. In Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference 2013, 21-24 November 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD. (Unpublished)



Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, even after wide-ranging public programs promoting sun safety awareness. To-date, public awareness campaigns on the dangers of excessive sun exposure have been highly successful. For adolescents, however, where a significant amount of lifetime sun exposure occurs, perilous exposure still ensues, despite awareness of the risks. New frontier approaches are required to target this key audience cluster, for this significant national problem.


For the majority of adolescents, being part of a collective norm defines their visual, attitudinal and behavioural actions and fashion has been validated as one of the most powerful forces that can form, shape and bolster these norms. Considering clothing is the easiest method to limit the amount of skin exposed to UV, fashion (in its many subtle, yet influential guises) is proposed as an avenue to advance positive sun safe practices for adolescents. Through an action-led methodology, this research explores the potential of fashion, as one of the key parts of a complex equation, to be a prime driver to facilitate sun safety for adolescents.


This paper advocates that fashion, as distinguishable from clothing, has the potential to positively influence sun protective behaviour. The findings go further and recommend the use of fashion as a stealth driver for sun safety advancement, for adolescents in particular, via shifts in norms of beauty and targeted generational communication strategies. This frontier approach has the potential to significantly reduce risky sun exposure in adolescence.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 65295
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information:

Received the GC-SC 2013 General Research Poster Award

Additional URLs:
Keywords: Sun safe apparel, Fashion and sun protection, Health and fashion, Skin cancer and apparel
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Textile and Fashion Design (120306)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2013 23:31
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2013 23:31

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