In September 2016, I completed my MA in the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick. This was both supported by the Wellcome Trust and supervised by Professor Roberta Bivins. My dissertation presented a British history of ‘sunbed addiction’, and evaluated the economic and socio-cultural factors that encouraged behaviours of excess towards this industry. In October 2016, this research was extended into my current PhD project. The provisional title of my thesis is ‘Advertising, Stereotypes and Health Advice: Understanding ‘Sunbed Consumption’ in Contemporary Britain, 1978-2016’. This research will provide a framework for understanding cultural factors which underpin resistance to authoritative medical and public health advice.
My research interests include the twentieth-century British history of the beauty industry (marketing strategies and advertising), ‘addiction’, the visual framing of ‘excessive’ consumptions, and gender inequities in public health campaigns. In the future, I wish to continue research that will engage with historians, educational and public audiences to increase the awareness and understanding of under-examined compulsions.