Two experiments examined stereotype and risk factors in suntanning. In the first, subjects formed more positive impressions of a target described as having a suntan than of a control target. Ratings were not as positive, however, if the tan was portrayed as having been intentionally sought. A negative facet to the tan stereotype, in terms of perceived vanity, was also observed. In the second, subjects observed a videotape documenting the risks associated with sun exposure either before or after responding to a questionnaire dealing with attitudes and beliefs about suntanning. The results were consistent with the interpretation that the tape influenced observers in the direction of perceiving a tan as less attractive and enhancing their concern about the dangers of tanning. Subjects displayed the “optimistic bias” effect (Weinstein, 1980) in their estimated likelihood of getting skin cancer. While those with higher reported tan levels were more likely to endorse the attractiveness stereotype associated with a suntan, there was minimal evidence that these individuals were apprehensive or concerned about the risk factors. Their responses to a number of items suggested a measure of resistance or denial. Women generally indicated greater awareness and concern about risks than did men. The results of both studies suggest the important role played by images perceived to be associated with suntanning. In the context of mounting evidence regarding the carcinogenic properties of sun exposure, implications for changes in tanning behavior were considered.