A digital island on Animal Crossing isn’t the beach we were expecting, but it’s the beach we have this summer amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, thanks to Gillette Venus and the launch of their NEW Skinclusive Summer Line by Venus, women everywhere can enjoy the sensations of summer virtually in Animal Crossing with characters that represent the diversity of their skin in real life.

It is important to ensure all women and all skin are represented and celebrated. Everywhere. That’s why Venus partnered with digital designer, Nicole Cuddihy, to co-create new avatar designs within Animal Crossing that serve as the largest offering of skin-inclusive designs to ever be available within the game. This collection is taking Animal Crossing from just a few representations of skin to 19 different skin types in 8 in-game skin tones, resulting in over 250 designs that include common skin realities like freckles, acne, hair, cellulite, scars and stretch marks, and more unique and under-represented skin like vitiligo, tattoos, psoriasis, and differently-abled bodies.

The launch of the Summer Skinclusive Line by Venus is the newest activation of the Venus “My Skin. My Way” campaign, which is the brand’s commitment to stand up for every woman’s right to feel comfortable and live freely in her own skin. But this summer, living comfortably and freely – and even enjoying the sun and the beach – has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, women around the world are expressing themselves and their individuality on Animal Crossing, which has quickly become the number one talked about game during quarantine and is most popular among women ages 19-24. By bringing more representation to Animal Crossing, Venus is enabling players to see and celebrate more of their natural identity in the world of gaming.

“In a world where there are so many explicit and implicit rules on how women should show or feel about their skin, skin-inclusivity and positive representation matters,” said Anthony van Dijk, Senior Brand Director of Venus North America. “The purpose of our My Skin. My Way campaign is to ensure that we’re putting out responsible imagery that represents reality and celebrates all types of skin, while also spotlighting the diverse skin stories of women all around the world. With Animal Crossing, we saw a unique opportunity to meet women where they are this summer by providing new ways to make gaming a more inclusive space, while also enabling them to gather virtually, safely on a beach to celebrate summer and skin inclusivity.”

On the inspiration and heartfelt purpose behind the designs, Cuddihy says, “While momentum for diversity in design is building, there are many areas where progress feels slow. The fact that I could add scars and wrinkles to warriors or outlaws, but not characters in less combat-driven games felt discouraging. With these designs, I hope that all women in Animal Crossing can find comfort and representation in this carefully developed collection. I drew inspiration from those in my own life to ensure the designs I was creating accurately represented their skin stories in a way that feels real, celebratory and beautiful.”

To celebrate the launch of the Skinclusive Summer Line by Venus and National Beach Day, Venus will host an Animal Crossing ‘Skinclusive Summer Social’ event on YouTube Live on Monday, August 31st.