Image via The Official Pokémon YouTube Channel

The Pokémon community expresses disappointment in the lack of hairstyle inclusivity in Scarlet and Violet

Perhaps it could do with a more diverse range.

As many fans wait on tenterhooks for the imminent release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet — those who haven’t eaten their fill from the massive wave of leaks in the run-up to the games’ launch, at least — there are already those who have issues with some of the design choices of the games. Some prospective players take umbrage at the idea that they may be stuck in a school uniform for the game’s duration, while others have complaints to make about the games’ character customization options.

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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has a range of ways to customize your character, from hair color and style down to skin tone and facial features. Some players feel there is a lack of more diverse or inclusive options, particularly when it comes to hairstyles.

Fans are doing their best to draw attention to the problem online. The lack of a larger variety of hairstyles is particularly an issue for non-white people, who find difficulty in creating a character who looks like them without the necessary diversity of textures and styles to recreate their natural hair. In the words of Reddit user MrDitkovichNeedsRent words, “Being black, it’s kinda annoying that we only have like two hairstyles to customize our character with.”

Many in the replies shared the original poster’s sentiments, with many other fans lamenting the lack of options and even the absence of a relatively straightforward and common afro option. User Hot-Calligrapher-159 hit the nail on the head with their explanation of the core problem: “These games are made by Japanese people with mostly straight hair so inclusivity to everyone else would be nice.”

It’s a tale as old as time in all forms of media — less diversity in the creative and constructive stages inevitably leads to a final product that alienates core demographics to some degree, because the issues simply never get flagged up or taken seriously internally. For an internationally-recognized and beloved brand like Pokémon, there’s simply no excuse, by the ninth generation of games, for lackluster representation.


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