The Unicode Consortium, the company that develops and approves emojis, announced that there would be 51 more additions to the roster. It seems that users will soon have access to a breastfeeding, a yoga practice, and a hijab emoji. The change is meant to honor women who respect the Muslim traditions and those who feed their children in a natural manner.
Next year, smartphone users will have a total of 51 new emojis to include in their texts. This will raise the count of available icons at 1,724.
The hijab emoji was included after a 15 years old German teenager complained that from more than 1,600 icons, there was none that could portray her. The same applies to senior citizens and men with facial hair.
Apart from the woman wearing a hijab emoji and the one portraying a woman breastfeeding a child, the Unicode Consortium will also add both a woman and a man practicing yoga, an open mouth that is vomiting, and an exploding head.
According to the public documents, the company is considering also adding an emoji of a male wearing a head scarf.
Since the Consortium is trying to celebrate diversity, the company will also include a variety of hair colors, skin tones, and religious and cultural references. This change comes after the Consortium has been accused of reinforcing gender and cultural stereotypes.
Google recently joined the movement for emoji diversity. The company sent a request for more icons depicting women at work. Until recently, most female emojis were depicting women cutting their hair, putting on lipstick, or other stereotypical activities.
Now, the Consortium has solved that problem, bringing new icons portraying women performing a variety of jobs. Women doctors, plumbers, engineers, architects and many others have joined the roster, narrowing the gender hiatus in the world of animated icons.
Other emojis from the list of the 51 new emojis include a vampire, a zombie, a T-Rex, and a person sucking on a finger.
Unicode is a conglomerate of tech companies, so the process of creating, approving, and implementing new emojis takes some time. When new icons are proposed, it takes approximately half a year for them to be approved. Another year passes until the emojis appear in the chat options of smartphone users around the world.
In the following weeks, Apple is going to add the previous set of approved emojis, the ones containing a pregnant woman, a clown, a person making a selfie, and a facepalm. If you come to think about it, the breastfeeding emoji will come just in time after the inauguration of the pregnant woman icon.
Do you think that a breastfeeding, yoga, senior citizen, and hijab emoji was necessary?