If you’ve ever used emojis in a text message, you’re pretty familiar with the catalogue of smileys and animated figures. But have you ever noticed that females are portrayed in ways that are stereotypically “girly”?
Feminine care product company Always did, and that’s why they want to do something about it. Although Mashable reported that girls send more than 1 billion emojis per day, Always noticed that there were differences in the ways males and females were portrayed in the characters, according to Mic:
When it comes to emojis, women and girls are limited to icons of pink manicures, princesses, brides, Playboy bunnies, haircuts, hearts and bikinis. Meanwhile, men have a range of expressions. They appear as policemen, detectives and spiritual leaders. Surfers, skiers, horseback riders, bicyclists, swimmers, basketball players — all these emojis are men. Always argues that today’s emoji palate isn’t relevant to the kinds of roles women play in everyday life.
Because of this, Mic said that Always is appealing the Unicode Consortium — the creators of emojis — to add more emojis of women doing things other than painting their nails, such as lifting weights or being lawyers.
The Unicode Consortium pitch, as well as a new video, are part of the brand’s #LikeAGirl campaign, which first launched in 2014 in order to help young women in the early stages of puberty who may suffer from low self esteem by “deconstructing the negative connotations around doing something ‘like a girl.'”
In the video ad for the campaign, young girls and teens alike take turns answering questions about what it means to do something like a girl. One young girl said that “running like a girl” meant to “run as fast as you can.”
While the move is situated in the midst of a larger feminist movement in popular culture, it also reminds us that doing anything “like a girl” is never a bad thing.