How important is an emoji? Sure, you might use one to defuse that risky text message with a casual tongue out emoji on the end. Or you might attach a winky face to that more risky text message. Sometimes you might even use a more obscure emoji like the dancing girl to illustrate how fun your night out was. But could emojis actually help us fight for gender equality in the world around us?
Recently another #LikeAGirl campaign, created by the company Always, went viral. It talked about emojis – and more specifically the lack of female emojis doing eclectic career pursuits. One girl says, “there’s no girls in the profession emoji, unless you count being a bride a profession.”
It’s true, if you check out your emoji keyboard you will see a number of career choices illustrated through men such as a police officer or a detective – but there are no female equivalents!
These are images and messages that many people with smartphones see every single day. We may not consciously think about emojis every day, but if we are scrolling through them and seeing that there is a lack of female representation then that is telling us all that that is the norm – that is how things should be.
Many objections to this may have finally resulted in some changes – as Google has just proposed a new set of emojis that are aimed at better representing women! The group of employees created an official proposal and have submitted them to the Unicode Consortium, which oversees the creation of new emojis. Some of the proposed emojis they have proposed include men, AND women, in roles such as teaching, cooking, farming, healthcare, and science.
You can view their official proposal by clicking here. In the proposal it talks about the fact that young women are the heaviest emoji users and the goal of these emojis will be to “… empower young women (the heaviest emoji users), and better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world.”
You can contact Unicode Consortium directly, to encourage them to choose to further develop this set of 13 new empowering emojis by following this link.
If emojis are a growing language of human communication, what impact could including a more diverse representation of women have?
What other messages around you do you consume every day, but may not even realize? The next time you go about your daily activities, think about what messages you might be exposed to – and how you can positively change them!
And, remember, poppers, to see change, share change, be change. Much love xo.