New Overwatch Mayskin raises cultural appropriation concerns

To celebrate the upcoming May Proximity Overwatch League tournament, developer Blizzard has dropped a new legendary Mackin that gives Overwatch heroes an MMA-inspired look. But the change is sufficient, as the community has been torn between loving and hating May’s cornrows, and some players have quoted this as yet another form of cultural appropriation from a well-known studio. Not accepted.

On the skin called MM-Mei, you can see the boxer’s robe with Chinese characters, gloves decorated with “frost”, and a belt inspired by MMA. But the issue is Mei’s hairstyle. On legendary skin, Mei wears cornrows. Cornrows are a type of braided hairstyle that is usually associated with the black community and is often used to tame knots and promote growth.

Players used Twitter to react to their skin.Have some Request to the Overwatch team “Listen to a black man who complains that you gave her a black hairstyle,” claims the skin to be short-sighted.Other citations Countless ways Blizzard could style Mei’s hair The buzz cut, twin blades, and various types of ponytails continue to remind us of MMA-inspired looks.

Still, there are members of the community who disagree with the criticism of cultural appropriation.Especially one I shared a screenshot As an “example” of someone of Asian descent wearing cornrows to refute complaints from Chinese MMA fighter ZhangWeili, who is often seen sporting different styles of blades in the ring.

This gesture ignores the diversion that is happening here. The choice to give Mei a black hairstyle is strange, especially given the relatively imbalanced representation of black characters, especially female characters. The game’s first black female character, Sojourn, has been announced, but will not debut until Overwatch 2 drops.

To insult the injury, Blizzard said the skin was “inspired by the strength of mixed martial arts and unique fashion.” It is a well-known fact that professional fighters of various hair lengths manipulate their hair so that it does not interfere with their eyesight. However, labeling this skin with cornrows has negative implications as a way of capturing “Mixed Martial Arts strength and unique fashion.” This idea could lead people to create excuses for stereotyping blacks as aggressive “fighters” simply based on their hairstyle. This separates the black experience and locks the community into a cycle of harmful clichés.

The stranger is still Mei’s hair length, which doesn’t seem to be long enough to knit in the style done for the skin. As Twitter user oheysteenz pointed out, Mei Weave required To realize this hairstyle. The weave is set not only to add extra length, but also to protect the hair and scalp from the tension that braids can create. However, because Mei’s hair has a straight texture rather than a coil, and is not long enough to knit that way, this skin is not honest and a thoughtless example of adopting a style of another culture. I feel like.

I contacted Blizzard about a statement about the skin controversy. We will update this post as soon as we get back to you.

The legendary MM-Mei skin will be on sale until May 11th. May Melee, where the top two teams from the west and east win the title of tournament winner, will be held from May 6th to 8th.

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