Monday, September 27, 2021

Apple Launches New Ethnically-Diverse Emojis & Receives Mixed Response

So it seems someone has finally answered our prayer hand emojis, as Apple has just rolled out a new range of ethnically-diverse characters for our texting, tweeting, instagramming and whatsapping pleasure.

Available via update to iOS 8.3, 100s of new emojis are ready for use, with new characters coming along with what Apple calls “skin tone modifiers” – a new function that allows you to select the complexino “that works for you.”

As well as having responded to users’ call to include more ethnicities, Apple – or the team at Unicode Consortium who are responsible for seeing our much-loved new way of communicating made consistent across all platforms and devices – have also extended an emoji hand to same-sex families and couples, and included 32 national flags in their mix (now selectable by infinit scroll) so one can truly proclaim what they’re feeling or who they are, emoticon-style.

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But while many people have been throwing up their hands to the emoji update, including “Thong Song” singer Sisqo, not every one is happy about the change, with many pointing out that there is still no representation for the multi-racial family or couple, with one user tweeting;

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And there the serious questions continue in the reaction to Apple’s update, with one Washington Post writer pondering in her article, whether introducing them was actually a good idea at all, commenting;

“Because I’m black, should I now feel compelled to use the “appropriate” brown-skinned nail-painting emoji?

I’ll now question other people’s emoji use when they’re speaking to me: Why is he sending me the black angel emoji specifically? Why is she sending me the black-girl emoji instead of the white one?”

The author, who goes on to criticise Apple’s attempt at being ‘politically correct’ as having created “a bastardized emoji blackface,” concludes;

“The blond-haired emoji man and the blue-eyed emoji princess are clearly white, but you can slip them into a darker-coloured skin. These new figures aren’t emojis of colour; they’re just white emojis wearing masks.

Sure, it’d be nice to see some emojis that look like me. But, at the end of the day, none of these really do.”

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But what do you think – are you praising Apple’s ethnically diverse emojis or have they left you disappointed and without a digital character to truly identify with? Let us know how you feel in the comments box below, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SPICETVAFRICA.

Video & image source: Dazeddigital.com, Theguardian.com, @OfficialSisQo, @KMattio,

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