For girls who can't get enough of Barbie, Marvel Comics is debuting its Barbie comic book, complete with "Stylish Stories and Trend-Setting Tips!" That pretty, perky and preternaturally youthful doll has finally landed her own comic book and it has her romping through all kinds of fashionable escapades with Skipper, Christie, and her ever-available, perfect boyfriend, Ken. Barbie even instructs on craft projects ("Guess what's more fun than wearing jewelry? Making it!") and encourages would-be fashion designers to send in drawings of their own creations. Barbie comics sell for $1 per issue and can be found at comic-book shops such as Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica ((213) 394-2820), Pee Wee Comics in Canoga Park ((818) 348-2083) and Golden Apple Comics in Northridge ((818) 993-7804), as well as at newsstands, select bookstores, and by subscription.
DEAR HOT: I bought my girlfriend a Chanel T-shirt for Christmas and she hated it. She says, "It's too '80s and the '90s are about anti-materialism." I assured her that I got it at one of those bargain stands at Venice Beach but it didn't do any good. I'd really like to please my girlfriend, but I don't even know what a non-materialistic present looks like. Help!
DEAR HOT SHOPPER: If it's the look of reverse snobbism your Anti-Material Girl wants (and it does appear to be becoming more fashionable as the decade wears on), we've found a couple of fun items that fill the bill. How about an authentic Motel 6 T-shirt? Or a White Castle "Belly Bombers" T-shirt, named for the hamburgers at the famed chain throughout the East and Midwest?
You can't get much more basic than White Castle and Motel 6. Only your girlfriend will know that both shirts are available in classy 100% cotton. They're sold in sizes M, L, and XL from The Lighter Side, a catalogue based in Bradenton, Fla. The Motel 6 T-shirt is $13.98. The White Castle classic is $14.98. To order, call (813) 747-2356.
DEAR HOT SHOPPERS: With everyone so concerned about guarding their eyes from harmful ultraviolet light with sunglasses, it was only a matter of time before someone thought the young set should be protected, too. Baby Optics is a new line of sunglasses for babies and toddlers that feature shatter-resistant acrylic lenses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and are FDA approved. The glasses, designed by a mother of a 2-year-old, have rounded edges, pin hinges and no ornamental designs that can be pried off. They retail for about $14 and are available in four sizes (newborn, 6 months to 2 years, 2 to 3 years and 4 to 12 years) at Sunglass Hut stores (in the Beverly Center, the Fox Hills mall, the Glendale Galleria, the South Bay Galleria and other locations).
Is there a justifiable reason for children to wear sunglasses, other than looking totally cool when they eat at Morton's?
Perhaps, says Dr. Sherwin Isenberg, a pediatric ophthalmologist and professor and vice chairman of the ophthalmology department at the UCLA School of Medicine. Isenberg says that there are some diseases and retinal dystrophies, or abnormalities, that would require children to wear sunglasses while outdoors. Also, some children with very light-color irises, such as light blue, might be light-sensitive and also might require eye protection.
For others, he adds, "Eyewear is optional. Most carriages and strollers have awnings which shield the sun, which might suffice."