I saw this brought up on another animal crossing forum and thought it would be an interesting topic of discussion here as well;
Why do you think animal crossing has yet to make a way for us to be able to choose our race at the beginning of the game? How do you think they could incorporate it into the game in future titles?
Yes, there is a way to tan yourself to the darker skin colors but that should not be something that you would have to work toward and maintain.
Some argue that there would be no way to do this in the way animal crossing does this (like ask weird ominious questions to get eye shapes and hairstyles) but I'm sure if they had one of those strange questions and included a instructional in the booklet that comes with the game on what to say to get what race, it could be done.
I believe that it may be because Japan not as diverse of a country as say America is. But regardless of that, every race should be allowed to be represented. The lack of customization with race is a little odd.
An interesting idea would be to have "patterns" for race. So just like you have patterns for clothing you could change your skin by making a pattern. Then again, that would require effort which defeats the original purpose--but its something to think about.