'Style Savvy: Fashion Forward': Kind Of Really Sexist

Style Savvy: Fashion Forward's cover looks like it came from Deviantart Nintendo

Sometimes you encounter a game that just isn’t made for you, but you have a compulsion to play it anyway. Like a moth attracted to a bug zapper, you just can’t resist sitting down and turning on a game you know you will hate with every fiber of your being.

Today, I spent three hours with a new Nintendo game for the 3DS called Style Savvy: Fashion Forward. It’s a dress-up game meant for extremely young children who like to play “dress up” and look at pretty outfits with frills and glitter. I am a 24 year-old man who knows literally zero about fashion, I dress in t-Shirts with 1980s cartoon characters on them to make myself look older.

In Style Savvy: Fashion Forward (super catchy name, Nintendo) you travel to a town inside a dollhouse with your grandmother’s magical key. You then become the manager of a clothing boutique and must constantly try to sell clothes to the most vapid, airheaded female clientele to ever exist. Some girls want pink skirts, others crave beige jackets and it’s your job to facilitate all of their needs. If you don’t have what they want, they will take their money elsewhere.

As the game progresses, the girls start desiring more specific clothing. One girl wants “stripes to match her cat” while another wants “lively trousers.” WTF counts as a “lively trouser” I still don’t know, but I handed that anime-looking doll a pair of skinny jeans and she seemed ecstatic. You can start buying clothes directly from a wholesaler once you collect enough cash. Then you can start buying different clothes to satisfy all the doll people that walk into your shop.

If you are a modern-day parent who wants your kid to grow up ignoring social norms and gender stereotypes, SS:FF is not for your kid. This game could not be more sexist if it had a Barbie on the cover, working in the kitchen and forcing a smile to cover up the lingering memory of all the dreams she gave up to make her husband happy. It’s like a clueless CEO decided that he wanted to create something where girls dressed girly and played with little doll houses while living in a fantasy world.  

Women that come into your store in SS: FF constantly want to be dressed “girly.” Urban Dictionary defines “girly” as “an adjective that describes the sort of girl whose favourite colour is pink and isn't afraid to flaunt it through her line of clothing. She is stereotyped with wearing long hair, skirts/dresses.”

Style Savvy: Fashion Forward is a step backwards for the depiction of women in videogames. It’s simplistic, stereotypical and encourages “girly” behavior. Still, I admit I did have fun playing it. Picking out outfits actually starts to get fun once you get over how ridiculous it is. Strong female characters like Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and Ellie from Last Of Us show girls that you can kick ass and have deep character without worrying what outfit to wear.

If SS:FF has taught me anything, it’s that if I ever have a daughter, I should never be allowed to dress her.


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