GOOD
Articles

Racially Diverse Emojis Are Coming Soon

Finally, the cartoons images better reflect the diversity of life.

Photograph: six/Apple

Last week, the update of NSFW emojis, including licking lips and other sex positive cartoons, caused quite a stir—with many rejoicing over the greater variety in adult-themed images.


Apple took things a step further when the company released beta updates to its OS X operating system Monday, which included a redesigned emoji keyboard and features various skin tones, first reported by 9to5mac.

Complaints of a lack of racial diversity in the more than 800 emojis available for use has long been a criticism of Apple, especially when you consider all the silly emojis included in the keyboard. Is it truly necessarily to have cat versions of all the regular smiley face emotions? Prior to the update, white characters served as the default representations of people, except for an Indian man wearing a turban and a Chinese man in a skullcap with noticeably smaller and slanted eyes.

“If you look at Apple’s Emoji keyboard, what do you see? Two different camels. A smiling turd. Every phase of the moon. But of the more than 800 Emoji, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban,” according to a petition on DoSomething.org.

According to the Guardian, the Unicode Consortium, an industry group that sets software standards, approves which emojis are available to users. The new skin tones are based on the Fitzpatrick scale, which is used by dermatologists as a recognized standard. Users will have the ability to change the skin tone of various human characters and body parts, from the sassy pink shirt girl to the thumbs up hand. If multiple characters are in the image, such as the dancing leotard girls, the skin tone modifier will affect both of them.

Photograph: Apple

In addition to more racial diversity, the emoji update also finally showcases greater diversity in families. There will be options for same-sex parent families now—depicting two moms, two dads, and single or multiple kids combinations. In all, more than 300 emojis will be added in this update.