Well it is 2016...
For too long there has been a noticeable lack of female emojis, with women and girls being unfairly represented in icon form.
Sure it’s 2016, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by scrolling through your emoticon selection.
As a woman you have a world of icon options when it comes to all things stereotypically feminine – you can find emojis of your nails being painted, a girl carrying pink shopping bags and of course a pretty blonde wearing a crown (an obvious necessity).
Yet when it comes to sports and jobs, the choice for half the world’s population becomes far more limited – something so backwards that it would almost be funny if it wasn’t actually pretty depressing.
Despite there being an emoji for all imaginable jobs and sports, every single one of them is a picture of a man. The only female-friendly icon coming close to any kind of role is that of a bride… not the most empowering message for the young girls sending over a billion of these emojis each day.
But the tide began to turn on Thursday when Facebook launched a new selection of female-friendly emoticons which help to address the balance.
From today a bigger and better selection of emoji glyphs are available for Facebook Messenger, designed to be more representative of women.
In total Facebook is introducing 100 new emoticons, with a whopping 1500 new options – most notably, changing five traditionally male emojis into female characters: a pedestrian, a police officer, a jogger, a swimmer and a surfer.
‘We’re diversifying the genders to create a more balanced mix that’s more representative of our world’, Facebook have announced, ‘from skin tones that you can choose to lots of women in great roles’.
The response so far is praise for Facebook’s progress – but also a call for more. In a world where people use emojis as their primary language, it really is necessary to question the extent to which emojis actually represent young women.
Bring on the emojis of female athletes, spies, law enforcement officers and of course, journalists.