Bea is a Fighting-type gym leader set to appear in Pokémon Sword and Shield. After she appeared in a trailer before the game’s release, she quickly inspired lots of fan art, with a significant portion of that fan art emphasizing the fact she is barefoot.
On July 8th, 2019, The Official Pokémon YouTube Channel posted a video trailer for the upcoming Sword and Shield games, introducing new characters and gym leaders, a new mechanic called Gigantamaxing, and several new Pokémon, including Alcremie (shown below). One of the new gym leaders was Bea, a Fighting-type user.
That day, the Pokémon Twitter account tweeted information about Bea, writing:
Meet Bea, the Fighting-type Gym Leader!
Bea is a prodigy in Galar karate, carrying on its century-old traditions and techniques. She’s known for her stoicism and very rarely shows her emotions.
It also confirmed that Bea would only be a Gym leader in an as-yet unnamed town in Pokémon Sword, whereas a Ghost-type user, Allister, would be a Gym leader in that town in Pokémon Shield.
Internet users quickly began creating fan art for Bea. DeviantArt user DevinQuigleyDraws posted art that imagined her with an english accent (shown below, left). Twitter user @2kai_floor posted fan art that gained over 1,400 retweets and 5,300 likes (shown below, right).
Other Twitter users, however, were focused on Bea’s feet. Some pointed out that Pokémon fans, who have sexualized female characters in the past, would sexualize Bea because she was barefoot. User @NullSpaceGaming made the argument that Pokémon fans were irritating for arguing whether it was acceptable to draw sexualized fan art of the character considering her unknown age and for focusing on her feet (shown below, left). Twitter account @pkmn_shitpost gained 88 likes by simply replying “feet” to Pokémon database Serbeii’s tweet about Bea (shown below, right). The popularity of the character was covered by the Daily Dot.