Sending a text message consisting solely of pandas, pills, cocktails and dolphins to express your warped feels daily via the sacred language of emojis is a digital native’s responsibility, nay right, and I’d like to think that we’ve exploited the additions with gusto. As the ancient adage goes, “An emoji is worth a thousand words.”
However, controversy has stirred in light of popular opinion that the emoji keyboard has been injected with a distinct taste of casual racism, and has been poorly diverse since day one. A petition has kicked off to officially attempt to diversify the world of MSN emoticons gone wild, which is fair enough, but to be honest I’d barely paid attention to the people based emojis, seeing as my visual texting vocabulary tends to start and end with “smiling turd.”
Anyway, the petition is currently sitting at around 20% of its 10,000 desired signatures, and begins by saying, “Of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation.” The petition also laments that seeing as there is every phase of the moon represented, it’s not a big ask to add the proposed prototypes (four
people emojis of colour) to the keyboard.
You might be right in thinking that the issue should be aimed at the creators of Emoji, a Japanese company, rather than Apple
, but Apple has been known to customise emojis themselves, even releasing lesbian and gay couple emojis
in June last year. If Apple is prepared to promote equality in emoji relationships, it seems like racial diversity would only be logical.
But most importantly, you guys, Miley Cyrus is in to it so that’s that: