'Don’t wear them if you're white’: Animal Crossing gamers accused of CULTURAL APPROPRIATION over virtual afro puff hairstyles - Breaking rules and crossing cultural barriers

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Mar 21, 2019

Animal Crossing: New Horizons players found themselves at the center of social justice scorn after being accused of cultural appropriation for wearing an in-game hairstyle some say was only for black people.


After new hairstyles were added to the game this past week — including afro and cornrows, to the celebration of black players — those of all races took part in attaching the new pieces to their avatars.

Though non-black players meant no harm in utilizing the game’s new features, they were soon scolded for using the styles — most notably the “afro puffs” — and were instructed to remove them in a scene similar to the viral harassment of a white student for wearing dreadlocks in 2016.
After one player from the UK posted a picture of her character in “space buns” to Twitter, other Animal Crossing fans — many of whom were white themselves — complained about the woman’s “very offensive” decision.
“This hairstyle was made for people of color so they had more hairstyles in the game,” snapped one user in a since-deleted tweet, adding, “so please respect that this hairstyle isn’t for you to wear.”

They’re not space buns, please don’t wear them if you’re white !!”
declared another, while user @acnhcelestial wrote, “They are afro puffs not space buns. Nintendo didn’t add them for white people or any other race that doesn’t have them in their culture. Please educate yourself.”

Many of the angry users have since set their accounts to private following the backlash, however their comments were captured in screenshots.

Others made more general comments about white players who were thinking about using the new hairstyles.

But not everyone had a negative reaction.

“im black. my sister is black wear whatever the f**k you want the hair looks super cute on your islander,” one Twitter user declared, while another encouraged, “as a person of color the buns look super cute on ur character :biggrin: you aren't appropriating anything, you can wear whatever hairstyles you want on animal crossing :)

Since its release on Nintendo Switch in March, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has consistently been in the news.

Just this week, Nintendo issued a ban on politics in the game after Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign used it to their advantage — putting Biden-Harris signs in the virtual world and even creating a Biden HQ island.

In May, animal rights group PETA organized a digital raid on a museum containing fish in the game’s world, demanding that the fish be freed.
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