Nintendo’s 2020 celebrated Switch success, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, allows players to customize their own tropical island. You can attend concerts put on by a famed rockstar dog, build your own dream house, and catch fish in the lake.
But one of the things you can’t do is change your hairstyle to curly.
Enter twenty-six-year-old Taniesha Bracken-Hucks. Taniesha is an animal shelter worker as well as an avid Animal Crossing player with very curly hair. Since she really enjoys playing Animal Crossing, she wanted her avatar to look more like her. So Bracken-Hucks took a picture of her avatar, drew some curly hair on it, and posted it on her social media. The “new and improved” version of her avatar went viral, and many viewers suggested that she start a petition to request that Nintendo add such a feature. It seems many other Animal Crossing players wanted the same thing.
Bracken-Hucks took the suggestion to heart and created a petition named “Create More Inclusive Hairstyles For Animal Crossing.” The petition immediately gained momentum and is now closing in on its original goal of having 35,000 gamers sign the request for Nintendo to add curly hair options to the game.
The petition requests that Nintendo add more inclusive hair choices for in-game avatars. Presently, hairstyles can be changed, but it doesn’t include any options for curly hair. Since ethnic hairstyles are often overlooked, Bracken-Hucks felt she could encourage some change through her petition. Since Nintendo officially published its desire to be more inclusive in a post in support of Black Lives Matter on their Twitter account, adding a curly hair option should be a no-brainer.
Game developers like Nintendo have come a long way in racial inclusion. Many games, such as Animal Crossing, offer players choices to select different skin tones.
Bracken-Hucks feels seeing her hair type represented in the game would mean acceptance.