Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Still no diverse emojis?
I am a bit frustrated that the first black emoji will not be released until June 2015, according to developer Unicode. I feel like by now there should have been other skin-colored emojis that would best represent the population. I understand how the normal yellow emojis are not very particular to any race and that they are generic faces. However, they still point to the lighter skin as an indicator of dominance over other races. These which I provide above are the emojis I am referring to.

I am surprised however that the girl with her hands in front of her face (below) is just one race. It probably would be easier for one race to represent all people because when other skin complexions come into the picture, developers must be careful not to stereotype or exclude other races.

Unicode is trying to avoid the problem of not representing all skin types by basing the six skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognized scale for dermatology. This is what it will look like.

View image on Twitter

My whole point is that people want to see emojis that will best represent them. Just like in video games and other moblie apps that allow people to make themselves into cartoons, most people choose features that are representative of them. My question for emoji creators is will they be able to give people a chance to create their own emojis, so that it would be more personal to them or just have a standard set like those in the above picture.

I think that having this diversity will allow for better visual communication among people and will set the stage for similar developers to follow suite at the start of their inventions and not midway through. When more people feel involved and invited then more people will use the product/service.

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