The 4-time Grand Slam champion, Naomi Osaka, made a guest appearance on Sesame Street’s 52nd season to teach Elmo and the crew about melanin and sun-safety. Osaka took the opportunity on the iconic children’s program “to talk about two things I am passionate about… tennis and education when it comes to sun protection.”
During a segment of the show the Japanese tennis player agrees to teach Elmo and his friends how to play tennis, however she first insists that they all need to put on sunscreen. While discussing the importance of sunscreen while being under the sun one of the Muppet’s asks if she needs to wear sunscreen since her “skin is a different color than Charlie’s skin.” Osaka then explains how sunscreen is beneficial to all people of different complexions and how pigment in the skin, melanin, makes up the complexions, “that’s why our skin comes with so many different colors.”
Osaka even takes an extra step in sun protection by recommending that everyone should use even more "melanin helpers" when they are under the sun. Things like wide brimmed hats, visors, and sun sleeves are all good options in addition to sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
This isn’t the first time that Sesame Street has taken the initiative to talk about sun safety and educating youth the importance of protecting their skin. Throughout the years Sesame Street has had sketches on sunscreen application, summer activities, sun protection, and melanin.