Winnie Harlow’s Vitiligo Skin Sims Is a Major Win for Representation

The Sims 4 is making major movements towards better representation in gaming with free customization update, launched in partnership with advocate and model Winnie Harlow, which allows players to create Sims with vitiligo. The skin condition, which Harlow has tirelessly raised awareness for, causes the skin to lose its color or pigment on various areas of the body.

As a means to authentically represent gamers with vitiligo of all ethnicities and skin types, the Sims art team created 61 vitiligo pattern variants for the first release of this feature. "As you cycle through the shades and change from warm to neutral to cool, the color of your Sim’s vitiligo will adjust to change with it," the gaming company said in the official release.

Players can find this feature in the "create-a-Sim" portal, where they can add the different pattern variations to their character's face, upper torso, arms and legs. The vitiligo skin update is available to use on Sims of all ages and can be personalised, meaning it can be made more or less prominent.

For many Sims fans – including Harlow – this update is a major push towards more inclusivity in gaming. "As a child, I spent a lot of time playing The Sims, and I think it's so beautiful to be able to represent your true self in-game. This partnership is a powerful statement encouraging players to embrace what makes them unique—both in-game and in real life," Harlow said in a statement.

For more on inclusivity in beauty, check out our coverage of an American models experience being labeled mid-size.