As of the end of February 2015, iPhone users will finally have access to diverse emojis. How wonderful, except for the fact that it’s 2015 and emojis have been part of any iPhone users experience since 2007.
The most alarming thing is that almost every article about the lack of diversity with emojis is rife with comments along the lines of “minorities are never happy” (Fast Company) or “Clouds are white too. I guess they’re racist.”
Diversity is important, especially considering that that the code for Emojis has existed since the early 2000’s. How trivializing, that for many years, people of color did not have the ability to express themselves with emoticons that were not an accurate portrayal of themselves. Even now, the Asian emoji is just a yellow face. There is no ‘horrified at the idea of a “yellow” person being the equivalency of a person of Asian descent’ emoticon, at this point. Maybe Apple and Unicode think that Asians look like they have jaundice?
What does this mean for us, the users of these emotions? Simply put, it’s only a tiny step in the right direction. ‘Millenials’ are communicating in a fashion that is completely different than Gen X and Gen Y; we use emoticons, pictures, memes, selfies, visual aids. As many interest humorists have noted, it’s as if we were ancient Egyptians, drawing on walls of our pyramids. We worship cats, after all.
Emojis should reflect us, not limit how we can express ourselves. Yes, this may be making a storm in a teacup, but the world isn’t made up of white people. Sorry, not sorry.
While I welcome the roll out of diverse emojis, it’s so dismissive to take almost 10 years to roll out a software update of this kind.
What are your thoughts on the new, diverse emojis? Tell us below in the comments!