If there is one thing on which we can all agree, surely it’s that there aren’t nearly enough emojis to choose from when texting, emailing and otherwise communicating on our electronic devices ☹. Who hasn’t scrolled through the staggering number of faces, shapes, animal figures, food items, vehicles, sports accoutrement, hearts, religious symbols, flags, and assorted other gewgaws and doodads and thought to themselves, “damn, I can’t find exactly what I need just now?”
Thankfully, new emojis are added every year 😊. Finalists for this year’s crop include the “Pregnant Person” and “Pregnant Man” emojis (at least one of whom sports a mustache), according to Emojipedia. Emojipedia’s blog noted that these candidates would compliment the existing (if unexciting) “Pregnant Woman” emoji and would "recognize that pregnancy is possible for some transgender men and non-binary people.”
There are other candidates, of course, including “Person with Crown,” a gender-inclusive alternative to the stodgy old existing “Princess” and “Prince” emojis. “Melting Face,” a yellow smiley face pooling in mid-melt, came in first in a fan-voted poll of this year’s most anticipated potential emojis, conducted prior to July 17th, World Emoji Day, garnering 13.7 percent of the vote. “Pregnant Man” came in a respectable sixth, capturing 5.3 percent of the vote. (“Melting Face” can represent extreme heat or be used metaphorically to imply embarrassment, shame, or a slowly sinking feeling of dread.)
Emojis have become increasingly inclusive over the years. Several years ago, a “Breastfeeding Woman” was added, the head of the baby hidden to avoid the potentially controversial situation of having the skin tone of the baby necessarily correlate to the skin tone of the mother/woman.
The list of potential emojis is not yet final. The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization that oversees emoji standards across all devices, will approve new additions on September 14th. Each emoji is subject to change prior to that date. Rollout of the exciting new symbols will occur in the weeks and months thereafter.
The “Pregnant Man” emoji is a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done. If we really wish to be inclusive, we need to introduce “Woman with Penis,” “Republican with Balls,” and “Pig with Wings” emojis. Right? 😉