Have you ever been looking through your phone and not found the emoji that you’re looking for? It happens to me all the time. The whole point of emojis is to express to other people how we are feeling through images. But for girls, if we want to accurately represent ourselves with emojis, we run into a lot of obstacles. The emojis that are “feminine” contain mostly pink colors and don’t include any kind of female representation in professions. Even with physical activities, boys are shown surfing, biking and swimming, while girls are shown dancing and there is one female athlete, a basketball player. It seems like the main options for girls are a bride or a princess, two things that don’t accurately represent women as a whole. I personally use the flamenco dancer for nearly everything. It is a great celebratory reaction, but as a girl I feel that the flamenco dancer is one of my only options for me as it is one of the few blatantly female emojis.

These emojis further project gender norms of boys being strong, athletic and smart, and girls being fragile, materialistic and dependent. There is either a great misrepresentation and stereotyping, or a lack of representation at all. In one of the recent iOS updates, emojis were revamped to include more races. It seems like there would be room for an update to include more emojis featuring girls.

I think it’s ridiculous that this issue hasn’t been addressed already. It might seem like this is a trivial issue and not everyone uses emojis, but texting and emojis are a big part of the next generation’s everyday lives. This may not be the biggest deal in the world and it may not be the key to changing gender stigmas, but I think by fighting for gender equality in emojis, we could change the way we inherently think of gender norms.

Simple things, like emojis, which pretty much everyone uses, should include all genders and races. A CNN report found that about six billion emojis are sent out everyday. I think that with the projection of equality in those types of things we use could make a real difference in how we view each other. If we had more equality in the emoji world, we would be less likely to think of police officers as strictly male and we would probably associate women with a lot more than just ballerinas and princesses. I think that it also becomes a point of logistics. If I wanted to send one of my friends an emoji celebrating their success in academia or at work, I wouldn’t really be able to find one that is gender specific. I would have to resort to the party hat and confetti — not that I’m complaining about that emoji, it is one of my most frequently used. However, I think it would be empowering to have a female professional employee, student and athlete.

Some people might think that I’m nitpicking for a reason to rant about feminism. But having things like emojis that are in our everyday culture perpetuate the inherent sexism that girls can’t do everything boys can do, which can be damaging for young girls’ self-esteem. The Always #LikeAGirl campaign promotes more body positivity and increased self-esteem through the empowerment of young girls. This campaign has been advocating for more emojis of girls doing more than painting their nails, wearing crowns or getting married. First lady Michelle Obama even got involved asking for emojis of girls studying to promote women’s education. I think this campaign is great and is important since it has the first lady’s support. Even a little change like equalizing genders in emojis can have positive effects on young girls and their ambitions.

One Response

  1. You

    Nothing about this has been addressed because it isn’t an issue. You should get an unlocked MOTO Z or a MOTO Z Play and root it, then you can change your emoji icons.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.