Amber Rose's Kanye West Emoji Is Controversial

by Michelle McGahan

Amber Rose essentially shut down the Internet — or at least that Kanye West/Wiz Khalifa Twitter feud — when she delivered the clapback to end all clapbacks, commenting on the one thing that would put a stop to West commenting on her, her son, and her stripper past. Though Rose's salacious and now-viral tweet ("Awww @kanyewest are u mad I'm not around to play in ur asshole anymore? #FingersInTheBootyAssB*tch") made Twitter erupt with praise for the retort, it's not hard to see the underlying tones of homophobia here: Why should this sexual act be considered negative if Rose's tweet, is in fact, true? And now that Rose has debuted her own line of emoji, MuvaMoji — 900+ emoji, including at least one that references that infamous tweet — it will interesting to see how people intend to use it.

Bustle has reached out to Rose regarding the tweet and the MuvaMoji, but has not yet heard back.

To be fair, it's not hard to see why Rose included the Kanye-related emoji — it was one of her biggest pop culture moments, after all — and with an overwhelming (and perhaps unnecessary) 900 options to choose from, it makes sense that this would be at least one of them. In terms of the Kanye-referenced emoticons, you can't get any more straight-forward than the "#FingersInTheBootyAssB*tch" hashtag emoji, which probably also but-I-can't-say-for-sure correlates with two emoji of Rose wearing medical gloves. In one she's making the "A-OK" sign:

I'm curious to know how people intend on using these emoji in their everyday text conversations. It's easy to see how the "#FingersInTheBootyAssB*tch" emoji could be used as a synonym for an epic comeback ("You're ugly," "Well, #FingersInTheBootyAssB*tch to you!") — but I think we need to be more careful with the implications of that.

I'm all for Rose taking a stand against West's tired slut-shaming and shutting down the argument with a retort so vile it went viral, but the homophobic undertones here are not only flat-out wrong, but perpetuate the idea that something perceived as "gay" or "un-masculine" is something to be ashamed of. As FlavorWire's Shane Barnes pointed out:

That is to say, celebrating Rose’s tweet gives power to the idea that it’s belittling, or an insult, to saddle a straight man with a predilection for butt stuff that is perceived to be gay. In 2016, this shouldn’t be the case, especially among the progressive media set. But it especially shouldn’t be the case for Kanye West, who has spoken out against the rampant homophobia in the rap world.

And by packaging that kind of comeback into a cutesy emoji that people can now use in their everyday lives is potentially dangerous, since it can further perpetuate homophobic thinking. It was one thing when it was a trend on Twitter and a pop culture reference that is now part of the Kanye West/Amber Rose narrative (not that it was so great in that context, either), but now that it's extending into the lexicon of texting... it's something to be conscious about, for sure.

At first glance, it can seem like a funny and harmless retort — but before you go and use it as a comeback, consider another one of Rose's 900 emoji instead. Like maybe the ones of her owning her sexuality and background as a stripper.