Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pico models: painted with the same brush?

Header: Rant Week
The collage below contains every product "model" that has appeared on the official Pico blog to promote new clothing or accessories from February 23, 2010 (just before Pico launched) to October 5, 2010. That's 224 days or 7 months+12 days.

Notice anything?

Hm ... for me, I see very few "models' that have been kissed by the Pico sun. Looking for a browner complexion (no, not tan) in a product model on the official Pico blog is like looking for subdued colours in Elton John's wardrobe. It just rarely ever happens!

The only very brown models ever appeared on 2 posts way back when Pico was new (March 30 and April 1).

Rant Week-Diversity
Photo Credit: photos from collage from Pico official blog

The developers of Pico are aware of the diversity of the players, for two reasons:
  1. Pico players can actually have a darker-skinned character; in the original Japanese language Pigg game, skin tone options stop at tan
  2. the recent countries feature in user profiles that let's you select and show your national flag
So ... why isn't there more diversity shown in product models? C'mon, Ameba! A vast majority your Pico models look caucasian or Asian. Where's your love for the brown?

According to the Family Care Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides humanitarian and development services in developing nations:
If we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this: The village would have 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific.
The way Ameba represents its players should ideally reflect this.

I timed myself. I spent 10 minutes in Pico hopping from room to room (in public rooms) and found quite a few brown-skinned players like myself ... basically one brown Pico for every minute I spent looking.

Pico collage

I understand that the makers of Pico are from Japan, a largely homogeneous nation. In introducing your social avatar chat up to the world community it's time to reflect world trends in your marketing and promotions. Maybe having more than mainly Asian-themed travel rooms would help (but more on that rant later this week ...).

Let's see if Ameba will ever get with the program and click on that brown skin tone square the next time they're dressing up a model for their next fashion news release image.

Gosh. I won't even get started on how the only brown shop merchants are a caveman with Botoxed lips (Macca in Stone Age) and a Notorious B.I.G.-type rapper (David in NYC Downtoan). Stereotype much?

/rant off

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