It used to be that long locks were the most desired trait of princesses everywhere, but it seems like Tifa Lockhart, Cloud Strife’s beloved friend from Final Fantasy 7, has taken that ideal and punched it into a million pieces.
Over the weekend, the hashtag #TifaShortHair started a trend on Twitter, in which fans of Square Enix’s classic JRPG posted fan art and renders of Tifa with short hair. Usually her hair is long — like really long — hanging well past her hips before it is gathered in a ribbon. Now, these images show her with a variety of haircuts and styles for short-hair, even bobs.
The hashtag started when artist Strawderryst issued a challenge to people to post Tifa with short hair and posted her own take. Strawderryst told Polygon that she issued the challenge because she loves Tifa as a character. “As an artist and a person who likes to imagine, I have many ideas and headcanons and her short hair was one of them,” she told Polygon over Twitter.
Her art of Tifa with short hair went viral, and kicked off a long string of posts from others, who showed off their own interpretations of trimmed Tifa. Many of the posts adapt Tifa’s design from the more recent iteration of her game, Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Now, all kinds of people are posting their fan art of Tifa with short hair. Whether it be a a digital drawing, fan render, or even a watercolor.
Here’s a take where Tifa is also wearing Cloud’s clothes, and wields his iconic Buster Sword.
I like this one a lot, because it mimics the style of the concept art for the original Final Fantasy 7 released in 1997.
Cosplayers have also taken to the trend to post their take on Tifa’s short hair.
Now a modder has responded to the trend by just putting Tifa with short hair directly into the game so that fans can play as her.
It’s not like we don’t ever get female characters with short hair, it’s just that a lot of women in games tend to embody the feminine ideals of the male gaze, which tends to include long hair. So when we get to see — or in this case, imagine — something new, it’s exciting to many. Similarly, short-haired Zelda sparked buzz from fans when she was first shown in the original trailer for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Also, dressing up characters and trying on new skins is a giant aspect to expanding on enjoyment of playing a game. Making fan art is almost feels an alternate way to get that feeling — and it feels especially fun for such a widely loved character like Tifa.
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