The Sims 4 has a skin tones problem – it needs to change

Representation matters and the skin tones in The Sims 4 are lacking in diversity, but Simmers are speaking out and calling for change.

While much of the focus over the last week has been around the leaked icon for the new Sims 4 game pack (and all the speculation that comes with that), there is a slightly more important issue at hand which has been taken up by several prominent Simmers and the wider community.

The Sims 4 has a skin tones problem and there is a petition on Change.org  to try and change that. At the time of writing, the petition for additional swatches and a colour wheel for skin tones in the Sims 4 was moving towards 80 000 signatures. If you’re not sure what the big deal is about, we’ll let the author of the petition explain:

The Sims’ darker skin-tones aren’t made very well. They look very ashy and have no vibrancy. When the sims game initially came out in 2014, The game had little to no range for darker-skinned people, and the shades that they did have were very bad. In February of 2018, The Sims added a few darker shades which brought the total to 10 medium to dark shades.

Those additional shades that they added, on the four darkest shades, a small patch of discoloration surrounds the nose. The existing makeup in the game also doesn’t look quite right on those new tones. For instance, adding lipstick creates an out of place line around the edges of a Sims’ lips.

We shouldn’t have to rely on CC to get the representation that we deserve. For a game that prides itself on inclusivity, I think that there should be a color-wheel for the sims skin-tones. There already is a color wheel for PETS in the game and I think that Sims should have the ability to do so as well

Representation matters! We deserve to accurately show and represent ourselves. This game has shown growth in many areas but we still have a long way to go. It has been six years since the release of this game and we are still waiting for more representation.

Sims 4 YouTubers call for action on skin tones

Several Sims 4 YouTubers have added their voices to the petition calling for change.

Pointing out that The Sims 4 releaed with more light than dark skin tones and that the majority of dark skin tones in the game are quite fair. In fact, we highly recommend that you watch Plumbella’s TED Talk on exactly this.

The conversation continued on Twitter and as many have pointed out, it wasn’t that long ago that The Sims publicly backed the BLM movement. Wouldn’t adding more diverse skin tones be a great way to show commitment to equal representation?

While the game has gotten better over the years – and they have made a notable effort to represent many communities in the pre-created Sims that launch with packs – Simmers should not have to turn to CC and mods for something as basic as skin tones.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.