Emojis, the smashingly popular Japanese emoticons for use in text messages and with social media (among other things), have been criticized for literally years about the lack of racial diversity in the characters meant to represent tiny humans. It is essentially impossible to overlook the ubiquitous and sassy pink-shirt girl when scrolling through Emoji options on your smartphone, mainly because she’s everywhere. That is, comes in 11 different poses to depict a wide range of her social activities and feelings, from bearing a dejected face to smooching her male-presenting partner. This girl, who sports brown hair and a pale skin tone, has almost a dozen ways of being, whereas there are zero women of color, and exactly two people of color in general available for use in the Emoji palette. What gives, Unicode?
Welp, to counteract these criticisms, the guardians of all the cartoonish representations of our text-feelings introduced a plan to incorporate more skin-tone diversity in the next generation of Emojis. You can browse the plan here, which is based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick Scale, a recognized standard for dermatology. (It is kind of ironic and yet typical that a plan for diversified skin tones is standardized under the outrageously white name “Fitzpatrick”, but we digress.) This is progress, right? It’s a start. It’s definitely better than having literally only a slightly-Asian-looking dude in a hat and a man wearing a turban to choose from when trying to represent people of color over text. 21st-century problems, post-industrial-developed-world problems, whatever. It’s worth getting stoked about.
(Random, unsolicited afterthought: Is “Emojus” the singular form of “Emoji”?)