You’re happy, but also a little bored, you have red hair and a black friend, but you’re missing that one emoticon to express this feeling. Wait no more, we’ll soon be blessed with 300 new little faces. The identity battle is now on.
There are 41 whites, 9 cats, an Indian and a Chinese. You might wonder, is this the start of some racial joke? Nope, it’s the beginning of as controversy: the emoji keyboard, 722 icons with which every smartphone owner punctuates their conversations.
After numerous campaigns, Apple has announced that “We’re working with Unicode to introduce more racial diversity”, meaning icons with darker skin tones or with Asian features. we’ll soon be getting 300 new icons equipped with skin tones that we’re currently missing (skin tones chosen not by chance, but by scientifically calibrated through a dermatological Pantone that goes by the name of “Fitzpatrick Scale“).
But the emoji guerrilla isn’t over yet. Facebook recently deleted from it’s menu the puffy emoji that signified “Feeling fat”, because a petition title “Fat is not a feeling ” had gathered 16 thousand signatures, going viral. And Ginger Parrot, an organization dedicated to preserving ginger rights -I wasn’t even aware this was thing??- said enough with those blonde and brunette heads in the emojis menu, and demanding more virtual “representation”. After all, if emojis have now become an integral part of our virtual vocabulary, they are subjected to the same controversies we face in regards to the spoken language: we argue over whether to say “actor” or “Actress”, and equally so for the resemblance of emojis to real life people. But to this I say, aren’t the emojis yellow? I mean, I haven’t met anyone who is seriously afflicted by the lack of diversity amongst these yellow icons. A special holla! to first world problems.
And what about those with issues regarding the frepresentation of feelings, like feeling somewhere along the lies of an angry emoji but verging on disdainful? Fear not, a new set of emojis by artist Cindy Sherman has recently been released. This includes emojis such as “socialite snob” -aka Scott Disick- and “petrified by disgust“, perfect to summarize how I feel while I helplessly view street style bloggers from around the globe during fashion week.
How fluent are you in emojis?
-A. Movie, pizza and beer after work?
-B. I’m going to take a picture of my dinner and post it on facebook.
-C. I fear the guy at the table in front of me is secretly filming me.
-A. My phone is dying, could I borrow your charger?
-B. Your phones radiations are slowly killing me. Could you turn it off please?
-C. Give me a high five! I bought a new phone after my last one died!
-A. I kicked my TV, and now I’m waiting for the repair man who won’t be here till late.
-B. I’m watching TV, then I plan to play soccer, exercise and call somebody before going to bed.
-C. I’m watching the Champions League, I’ll call you this evening.