Emoji Equality For All

You probably felt the same way that many others felt when the new iPhone emoji upgrade was release earlier this year: “Where in the world is the taco emoji?!”

Unfortunately, the big people behind their desks at Apple have still not gotten the point that tacos are the next best thing right after fried macaroni and cheese balls. (Yes, that is a real thing.) However, a new addition to the upgrade may not satisfy your stomach but can satisfy your decision when choosing what image to show in your message.

The new “People” section now has a better representation of actual real people. Instead of having the standard person be an image of a white skin tone with brown hair, the latest emoji update came with features of people with different skin tones, thus applying to a vast audience.

At first the original emoji may not have seemed like a problem when the image of what looks similar to you is of the “norm.” But to other racial identities that were being ignored, a change in representation needed to happen. The ignored portion of this generation felt like their voices were not being heard through simple Twitter posts or even a text.

Like it or not, this generation of young adults are a big part of the progression of technology. Many do thrive off of what is happening now—but before you go off on a anti-narcissistic rant about how you do not want to be a part of a generation who chases after “likes” on Instagram, you cannot deny that some way or another, you want others to see the closest version as to who you are without a false representation. This latest emoji update took a step in just doing so.

“Most of friends tweeted about being excited that there were new emojis. It wasn’t just because there were black ones but obviously different shades of skin tones from really pale, medium, tan, brown and even deep is what really got people excited,” says Janelle Kelly, a senior studying advertising.

However, some folks did not think that the upgrade was doing much service to the improvement of diversity. Some felt that it took a step back, having people feel forced to identify their shade according to an emoji. Not all shades of people’s skin tones are in the update and one can certainly understand that having to choose one to fit whatever message you’re trying to get across can be frustrating.

Many social networks are full with images and texts voicing this generation’s opinions on numerous subjects. It says a lot that a big company like Apple actually listened to what consumers wanted in terms of improving the quality of the product. Then again, this generation needs to remember that they are the product; so if you want something then you have every right to voice it.

The emoji update may just seem like it is adding a few more shades to the sassy, pink shirt girl with her right hand up, but to many, it gives them a chance to even see themselves as the sassy girl. So instead of being a typical first-world problem Millennial complaining about your hand hurting from having to swipe over so many emojis, be happy that Apple listened to what was being said and has made a progressive step towards equal racial representation.

Let’s just all hope the next emoji update has some dang tacos at least.


Happy World Emoji Day!