Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

There's A Big Equality Problem With Your Emojis

comments
Emojis: The universal language. The lowest common denominator. They are something we can all agree on – like, the scream emoji is for Mondays, the flamenco dancer is for Fridays and the monkeys are for flirting. All of this – along with the fact that we send six billion emojis globally each day – means that those funny little faces have a duty to represent us.

Why is it, then, that while the male emojis depict policemen, lawyers and sportsmen, the female emojis picture brides, Playboy bunnies and err... girls getting their hair did? There seems to be a disparity between the way that the sexes are represented, and one that could have harmful implications.

Around a year and a half ago, celebrities including Miley Cyrus rightfully complained that emojis weren't racially diverse enough – leading Unicode Consortium, the body who decides what emojis should look like, to update them to be more inclusive, introducing the skin tone option.

Now, a new video campaign launched by the brand Always is calling for similar change, after pointing out that emojis have a sexism problem. The video, which features young girls talking about why it's not okay that male emojis get all the good jobs, urges Unicode to update their emojis with female body builders, drummers and lawyers.
I for one have been too preoccupied with the controversy of whether the praying hand emojis are actually a high five – or why the hell the emoji I use for sass 💁 is actually called 'the information desk person' – to ever notice that emojis are kind of sexist. But now I've seen it, it's going to bug me.

So, what can we do? Well, always suggest we use the hashtag #likeagirl to draw attention to the matter. If we complain enough, perhaps Unicode Consortium will listen, and us girls will get a makeover. And not this kind 💇 💅 ... for a change.
SHARE
TWEET
EMAIL