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Brief Published: 18 Aug 2020

Gillette Empowers Inclusive Beach Bodies in Animal Crossing

Women's personal care brand Gillette Venus has dropped over 250 digital beach bodies for Animal Crossing players, featuring variations like vitiligo, eczema, limb differences, mastectomy scars, cellulite, stretch marks, and a variety of body shapes.

The Skinclusive Summer Line is timed to coincide with Animal Crossing's summer update (which includes seasonal items like costumes for rodeos and the Chinese Qixi Festival, and fireworks displays) and was created in collaboration with UK-based costume designer Nicole Cuddihy, who painted digital bikini bods onto the game's customisable clothes. On August 31, Gillette Venus is also going to host a beach party in-game with a celebrity host, catering to conversations on inclusive body culture.

Body inclusivity work is a high-impact brand engagement space, as there are vocal communities invested in abolishing harmful messaging. Creators are pushing back against body idealism and spoofing weight-loss transformation hashtags, using friends and younger siblings as obvious stand-ins for the 'after' shots.

US TikTok user @senorapattinson started a series called 'Skinny Or Fashionable', where she examines the outfits of influencers to determine whether their clothes are only aspirational because they happen to hug skinny bodies. In July, Vancouver-based writer and teen Rayne Fisher Quann said in a Twitter thread that blew up to over 500,000 likes, "fashion is judged exclusively by the bodies that wear it".

For more case studies of brands connecting with a cultural moment online, check out our new regular Pop Culture Pulse. To learn more about brands and body inclusivity, see Pop Culture Close-Up: Body Inclusivity, and its companion episode of our Future Thinking Podcast with UK author and fashion blogger Bethany Rutter.