Emoji diversity promotes equality

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BY LAUREN PABIAN

Since the “Emoji” keyboard was introduced to the iPhone back in 2011, these faces and pictures have become widely used texting tools by teens and other people around the world. For many years, critics of these keyboard icons have argued that emojis haven’t represented all social, racial and cultural groups. Apple has introduced new emojis to show that they support equality. Most recently, they have suggested adding emojis of women performing professional roles that they have yet to be portrayed doing in emojis.

PR Manager of the Feminist Club, sophomore Sofia Desimoni, said she has been dissappointed thus far by how women are portrayed by emojis.

“Emojis have not been very diverse in women and are only seen in stereotypical roles when we can do so much more,” Desimoni said.

Desimoni said it is always important to portray woman as equals to men.

“It’s important for us to see women being represented in emojis so many people realize women can do any job. It’s disappointing to still be talking about an issue that should have reached equality a long time ago,” Desimoni said.

Though a new update (iOS10) came out, it still did not include emojis many thought would be included in the update. Desimoni was upset with the lack of emoji character updates.

“I believe that [professional] women emojis should have existed from the start. Sadly, this goal is still being worked towards and hopefully in the near future will be achieved,” Desimoni said. “This could possibly open the eyes of the oppressors in countries where women, without a doubt, are given no respect or cared for.”

Sophomore Makenzie Roach saw that emojis have recently expanded to include the option of controlling the skin tone.

0224-emoji-racial-diversity_1“I think it is really good that Apple now includes the ability of choosing a skin tone,” Roach said. “It took a long time for these to be included, but I think the wait was worth it. It allows you to choose which hair color or race emoji you want to send which makes it more personalized.”

Recent updates might not have contained emojis of females doing professional jobs, but they have included the addition of same sex emojis. President of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), senior Jennifer Galante is ecstatic to see these new emojis appearing on smartphones.

“I absolutely think that same sex emojis help to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) movement and will have a huge impact on our country as a whole,” Galante said.

She is thrilled that Apple is finally accepting the LGBTQ community even if it’s through something as little as an emoji. ­­

“Though I am not a huge emoji user, this is great for exposure of us as a collective group,” Galante said. “Emojis are widely used, so many people will get to see these.”

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