It was welcome news earlier this year when Mattel introduced Barbie dolls with a more diverse range of skin tones and body types. My first thought (besides they’re beautiful and I want to play with them!) was that we could use them to remind people that all skin types can be at risk for sun damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. The dolls are a perfect way to talk to young girls (and boys) about why it’s so important to protect their skin from the sun.
Before I could take them to the park for these photos, though, I hunted for hats. Guess what? Not so easy to find. I had to go on eBay to locate some vintage straw Barbie hats from the 1970s, and then on Etsy for handmade ones. (I may write a letter to Mattel about this.)
Think of these photos as a teaching moment. Tell your kids that wearing sunscreen and a hat is smart and cool. It will help keep their skin looking young and fresh. And it can also help them avoid freckles, dark spots, tanning and sunburns, which can lead to skin cancer later.
We may use these dolls in future posts and maybe even some videos. Let us know what you think!