Skin Color in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
In the Animal Crossing games, you have no choice of skin color. Regardless of how you interpret that, it’s clear that you have a fair amount of freedom to customize your character except in that way. You have pale/white skin.
For people who want to be other skin colors, either because they want to see themselves in their Animal Crossing character or simply to not be pale/white, their only option was to tan during the summer.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf has an island where it is summer all year round. Some people thought that, while not an ideal solution, they would be able to maintain a skin color other than white thanks to this, but they still have to jump through hoops even then. They have to show up in the morning, tan for several hours, and their tan won’t even show up right away. Worse, certain hats prevent tanning.
Nintendo recently announced they’ve added choice of skin color to the Pokemon franchise. They’re aware of the homogeneity of the protagonists in their games when it comes to skin color. For them to still neglect this in Animal Crossing is a major problem, made all the more painful for some people when the one out they saw from themselves is still limited to two months a year.
Nintendo is excluding players when they’ve already shown they know better. It’s as simple as that.
Addendum: The original version of this post featured incorrect information regarding tanning, from a source that proved inaccurate. This version of the post should be much more accurate, though if inaccuracies persist, please let me know.
Currently, there are people messaging the @NintendoAmerica twitter account asking Nintendo to patch skin tone as a choice into the game. At this time, I would encourage others to do this as well as it seems the best route to go to fix this issue, though there is not at all any guarantee that they will listen.