These Proposed New Emoji Hairstyles Are An Awesome Step Toward Representation, But We Can Still Do More
The emoji powers that be, or the Unicode Technical Committee, are adding new emoji hairstyles to your keyboard that were once underrepresented. As someone who changes their hair quite often, from long box braids and faux locs to mini buns, this was a definite mood booster. But why? Well, when you're pretty used to the emojis in your phone being white with Euro-centric features and straight hair, this is a small blessing. Yes, this is a small change, but an important one.
In their proposal for the change, the committee shared that it would include four new hair styles that acknowledge the following: “methods of representing white hair, curly (or afro) hair, and baldness.” Now let's just stop to acknowledge how the hair texture of your emoji got a much needed upgrade! And no, any new excuses such as, "But the emoji hair is beautiful, so let me touch yours" won't work. However, other than the word "excited," let's add inclusive.
For a tech savvy generation, it just isn't enough to give us magazine covers with people of color and different body types. Millennials have pushed back when it comes to having spaces that acknowledge that all kinds of people matter. This isn't to be confused with #alllivesmatter, which would need an entirely different article. Nonetheless, a report by Deloitte found that Millennials not only work better in collaborative spaces, but also shared that 83 percent of Millennials are actively engaged in their work when the organization they work for prioritizes inclusivity.
Inclusivity is also acknowledging, albeit normalizing, the experiences and even appearance of people of color. This is kind of a big deal because this small gesture contributes to a culture that won't think of POCs as "other." We have quite a ways to go, but you have to admit! It is pretty cool.
Jeremy Burge, member of Unicode, gave the Twitterosphere a sneak peek.
While Jeremy and the good folks at Unicode may need someone to explain that Jon Snow (aka Kit Harrington) and the Ciara Anderson pictured below aren't in the same ball park texture wise or to be compared/used as example, the assertion above still stands. It's still a very good idea!
While there a few more things they could certainly add to make this change more life-like, including diversity of actual hair styles and textures but also features like eye color that occur "naturally" sticking with the report's theme, Unicode is getting smart about giving us more options other than just skin tone. According to Jeremy Burge's twitter, these changes allude to an iOS update near you in 2018.
Bald / no hair / shaven head examples. If approved in final set, these would support genders + skin tones. ~2018 pic.twitter.com/VSKzV2Hn8g— Jeremy Burge 🐥 (@jeremyburge) May 17, 2017
Until then, I'll throw micro braids and cornrows into the pot for the next update!