Apple unveils new gender-neutral emojis

Whenever Apple makes an announcement, you can be pretty sure that it is going to be game changing, and its latest move is no exception.

According to InStyle, the tech giant recently announced that they will offer a host of new emojis to their already-expansive collection, including some new gender-neutral characters. The additions, which CNN says comes along with the iOS 11 update, includes “more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral options, mythical creatures, clothing, food and animals,” while also adding more skin tones and country flags to their roster.

Additionally, InStyle reports that the update also includes new “empowered female emojis,” which take the form of “a female rock climber and a woman breastfeeding.”

With these changes to Apple’s emoji repertoire, hopefully there will come increased representation in the future.


Equal Emojis

Gender-equal emojis are on the way for Apple users.

According to the Huffington Post, the tech innovator announced over 100 new emojis that will be released with this fall’s iOS 10 update.

The new characters, introduced on Monday, Aug. 1, include women portrayed in a variety of professions and activities, shown as athletes, construction workers and even detectives, says the Huffington Post.

Teaming up with the Unicode Consortium to create the new characters, the Huffington Post says that Apple expressed the motivation behind the emojis was to ensure that “emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere.”

To check out the new characters that will be making their way to your Apple iPhone and iPad this fall, click here.



Gender-equal emojis get approval

Emojis just got a little more inclusive, thanks to a recent decision by the Unicode Consortium.

According to Glamour, Google announced on Thursday, July 14 that “a new set of emoji[s] that will represent a wider range of professions for both women and men has just been approved by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee that oversees emoji creation.”

Proposed back in May, the new line consists of 11 emojis in a variety of professions that appear as both male and female, while also coming in a spectrum of skin tones, reports Glamour.

The new emojis also go a step further, offering female alternatives to the traditionally-male characters and vice versa; Glamour says that there will soon be female versions of the “male police officer, runner, cyclist, or private investigator,” while men will also be depicted get a haircut or “giving a sassy palm up reaction.”

So who’s to thank for the new gender-equal emojis? Engineers Rachel Been, Agustin Fonts, Nicole Bleuel, according to BuzzFeed — and of course, Google and the Unicode Consortium.

While Glamour reports that the release date for the new characters is still unknown, this is definitely a positive step in promoting gender equality in a small, but significant way.

Google proposes empowering female emojis

With a 79-cent wage disparity between men and women in the workplace, it’s no surprise that equality in the business world is still fought-for ideal. But there is even a difference in the way the genders are portrayed professionally in animation.

Enter Google, which has just proposed a new line of emojis that portray women in a variety of careers, reports the USA Today. The collection includes 13 new characters with a “goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere,” according to Google’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium for the new emojis.

While there are currently upwards of 1,000 standardized emojis used worldwide, CNN Money points out that “the current emoji selection feels implicitly sexist, showing men running and policing while women dance and cut their hair.”

In their proposal, Google wrote on the decision to create the emojis: “Given the fact that women are the most frequent emoji users, and that they span a wide professional spectrum not yet reflected in current emoji, we want to help address this pressing matter of equality.”

Acting on this, Google created new characters that depict women as farmers, rock stars, doctors, and even software engineers. While it is not yet confirmed that these emojis will get the green light for a wide release, CNN Money says that their chances look promising.

“One author of the Google submission — Mark Davis — is also the president and co-founder of the Unicode Consortium, which could make it more likely that the proposal will be approved.”

Whether or not the consortium sees a need for the new emojis, Google seems to stand by their decision to craft the new characters:

“No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before,” Google argued in the proposal. “Isn’t it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?”



Emojis Look #LikeAGirl

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.