Immediately when I watched The Sims 4’s gameplay trailer, a smile formed on my face when I saw the Michaelsons, a Black family who wore the new hairstyles. The four family members are premade characters that exist in the game. Celeste, a mother of two, had the braids styled into a top knot with baby hairs that were laid better than mine even on a good day. Her husband, Christopher, had the short coily haircut.
Atlas, the son of Celeste and Christopher, had the “men’s box braids” style, which features a few shoulder-grazing plaits — it’s one of Redway’s favorite styles because it reminds her of her own son. (The baby Orion Michaelson was not wearing one of the new styles.) There is also a glimpse of a character, who is presumably Celeste’s mother, with shoulder-length natural curls and a colorful headband. The last of the five new styles, two puffs with a cornrow with beads on either side, is not featured in the trailer, but you can see it below.
It took a year to develop these hairstyles with the collaboration starting in February 2022. During that time, Redway was continuously providing feedback and photo references with EA, the company that produces The Sims franchise. “I feel bad because sometimes I would send back so many rounds of feedback on specific styles or be very specific about hair lines and how the hair grew out of the head, or how the braid came out of the scalp,” she says.