The sun is an essential part of all life. According to hippies, the sun has been said to cure diseases and heal ailments, but as we watch the skin on these unwashed vegans peel off their backs due to their exposure to the sun, we ask ourselves; is the sun really that beneficial?
Proving that the benefits from the sun are not just part of a modern trend to appeal to the California Valley girl, Lyar Kilston's Sun Seekers captures the history behind the healing power of the sun and the history behind the fad of the California diets. Depicting the positive effects of heliocentric therapy on the human psyche, Kilston shows the holistic method of healing by early 20th century scientists.
Shots of men lying side by side in nothing but white loincloths and sun visors look like lined up Q-Tips, ready to be used. They believed that the sun had an almost mystical effect on the human body, increasing longevity and rejuvenating the body. Instead of showing these men as pale forms simply hoping to get a tan, Kilston reveals why they choose to stare up at the sun for hours.
The "medical" professionals in Kilston's book prove the benefits of having the warmth and vitamins all in one source. According to the professionals, it is what helped keep people healthy and resulted in a better outlook on life. Additionally eating healthy was a crux for these communities, leaving the vegan diet to slowly make its way into society. While the mindset of following this standard of living to-a-T was mainly taken to heart by hippies, aspects were picked up by the general population and are now part of modern society.
The images Kilston finds are not just unique to the Southern California area but are taken from across the ocean with photos taking you as far as Switzerland. These professionals hold true to the idea of disease prevention through the use of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. The ability to have the sun's warmth and vitamins all in one is what helped keep people healthy and resulted in longevity.
The need for disease prevention gave way to a health reform that was not only about sunlight but also played into the way that people constructed homes or the way they ate. Architects and doctors realized a need for a healthier place to live; open areas, large windows, and white wall kept the sunlight in and disease out. Soon the need for a proper diet, fresh clothes, regular exercise, and a clean place to live became the staples for the growing western world.
Kilston analyzes more than just the need for sunlight as a modern form of healing, but looks at the modern technique of healing as multifaceted, linking it back to using what the earth provided us. Kilston examines how the modern world not only came to accept but actually incorporate these unorthodox aspects of holistic healing; proving that the sun-fried vegan may be on to something.