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Guerrilla Games

‘Someone has never been within five feet of a woman’: People mock gamer for questioning peach fuzz on female character

Peach fuzz is perfectly normal.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 15, 2022   Updated on Feb 15, 2022, 1:34 pm CST

Aloy, the red-haired heroine of Horizon Forbidden West, is no stranger to having her design and appearance criticized by (mostly) male gamers who take issue with a female character whose looks are anything short of model-like perfection. Days ahead of the game’s release on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, misconceptions about women’s bodies have made their way online again some players are criticizing Horizon Forbidden West for including a detail that many women have—a move that resulted in them being immediately dunked on.

Thanks to several factors such as higher resolution and a new gaming console, Guerilla Games—the studio behind Horizon Forbidden West—can include more graphics in its characters and Horizon Forbidden West’s post-apocalyptic America than ever before. As Guerilla’s Narrative Director Ben McCaw explained in a September 2021 blog post on PlayStation’s website, that allows them to render and bring that kind of detail to life, with texture details and peach fuzz being just a couple of the examples listed.

“Each generation of consoles brings extra power that lets us add even denser polygons to our character models, so we can create finer details such as peach fuzz, smooth contouring, or finer texture details and accurate materials expression, to name a few,” McCaw said.

For Aloy, the peach fuzz appears on her face, and it’s light and barely visible. It’s an aspect of her facial features akin to freckles or laugh lines—just one of those things that a character like Aloy would have because many women also have peach fuzz on their face. But, for some gamers, it appears that the fact that women have peach fuzz on their faces was news. So much so that at least one person seemed to think that Aloy’s peach fuzz was actually a beard.

If you missed the peach fuzz, the original poster also circled the area in which peach fuzz appears in red to draw extra attention to it.

“Can you explain to me why the hell Aloy has a beard?” the post reads in the English translation. The tweet made its way to other sites, including Reddit.

The criticism over Aloy’s peach fuzz is in a similar vein to the Aloy fanart that made her look like a sexist caricature last year. It’s highlighting a feature that they feel is off or makes the character look less than feminine. Vellus hair, a more scientific name for peach fuzz, is something most people have all over their body; for cisgender women, that also includes their face.


While the dunks took many shapes and came in many forms, they more or less had the same theme: That the person who commented on Aloy’s “beard” has zero ideas what peach fuzz is and questions whether that person has ever actually met a woman.


“I’m so impressed by the Horizon peach fuzz shader that I can’t bring myself to dunk on the guy who doesn’t know how faces work,” Mike Bithell tweeted.

It’s incredibly easy to dunk on the person who has an issue with peach fuzz, but it’s just one more instance of highlighting a rather silly idea born from beauty standards or a narrow idea of what a female video game character should look like. Whether they’re digitally removed, physically removed, or just not rendered in graphics (and designing female characters with peach fuzz was probably low on the list), some people may have gotten the impression that women just didn’t have peach fuzz. And while Aloy’s peach fuzz won’t affect the game, it’s a clear example of just how much some gamers are uncomfortable with seeing characters in a game that look anything short of a fantasy.

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*First Published: Feb 15, 2022, 1:27 pm CST