Naomi Osaka stepped off of the tennis court and on to Sesame Street as the talented tennis pro teaches the Muppets about Melanin on a new Sesame Street episode.
In the new episode, Osaka not only gives the kids a tennis lesson, but she teaches them about how important it is to put on sunscreen even for those who have brown and black skin.
“See, everybody’s skin has something called melanin in it,” the bi-racial Japanese and Hatian athlete said in the show before addressing Segi, a Black muppet who questioned whether she needed sunscreen because of her skin tone. “People with dark skin like you and me have lots of it . . . We all have different amounts of melanin in our skin. That’s why our skin comes with so many different colors.”
Osaka’s appearance on the longstanding children’s program was just one of the ways that the professional athlete is helping to spread the word about the importance of sunblock for people of color. To put even more action into her mission, Osaka has co-founded the skincare line Kinlò, which is specifically formulated for melanated skin types. Additionally, the line helps to educate the public about skin protection, highlighting the Black community a focus.
“I have worked with many talented people in my career but sharing the stage with Elmo and his friends on Sesame Street was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me,” Osaka told Popsugar about the experience. “I had a blast on set, made some new friends, and was able to talk about two things I am passionate about . . . tennis and education when it comes to sun protection. It was an honor and I am so excited for the episode to air.”
Make sure to watch the new episode, now streaming, on HBO Max. For more information about Osaka’s mission and how you can protect melanated skin, click here.