Here’s a small but much-needed win for inclusivity. The Unicode Consortium — aka the architects of emoji, everyone’s favorite second tongue — has announced it will be releasing 56 new pictograms in the coming year. This past April, the Consortium added an update that allows users to assign their once exclusively white keyboard characters more diverse skin tones. In 2017, the secretive Silicon Valley group plans to add a breastfeeding mother, a hijabi, a man wearing a keffiyeh and a “gender-inclusive” child, adult and senior into the mix. (Insert “person raising both hands in celebration” emoji here.)
The Muslim-geared emojis are the fruits of one Rayouf Alhumedhi’s efforts. Earlier this year, the Saudi Arabian teen submitted a proposal urging that a hijab emoji be added to the keyboard. “Roughly 550 million Muslim women on this earth pride themselves on wearing the hijab. With this enormous number of people, not a single space on the keyboard is reserved for them,” the 15-year-old reasoned in her proposal. Many, including the co-founders of Reddit, applauded her logic and initiative. The motion passed.
Other crowd-sourced emojis that may one day enrich our interpersonal communications include a vampire and “face with open mouth vomiting.” The new set will also include a pie, a pretzel, a coconut, broccoli, socks, a yogi, an exploding head, a flying saucer and a “nude person in a steamy room” (the sauna craze has gone digital).
Of course, Apple, Google and other smartphone developers have final say over which emojis make it to our keyboards and how they’re portrayed and they’ve yet to greenlight this latest cast of characters. In our opinion, the list is full of solid, necessary updates, although we could take or leave the retching wretch, given its (likely unintended) association with emotional disorders. What do you think? Are we being too P.C.? Sound off in the comments below.
[ via Allure ]