Everything else may be descending into chaos right now, but at least we have new inclusive emoji.
The iOS 14.2 update comes with over 100 new emoji, including bubble tea, roller skates, and even an accordion. It also comes with a slew of more gender-inclusive symbols, like male emoji holding babies, the trans flag, and genderfluid wedding emoji. The bride and groom emoji, traditionally represented by a woman in a veil and a man in a suit, now come in the opposite genders as well: a female-presenting emoji wearing a tux and a male-presenting emoji wearing a veil and white dress, titled “Person With Veil” and “Person with Tuxedo.”
Though it seems frivolous, updating the emoji library to be more inclusive is part of a larger push for a more equitable society. Emoji shape not only the way we communicate but also the way we frame conversations. Categorizing life into strict binaries is outdated, and emoji must adapt as the rest of the world does.
Paul Hunt, the designer behind Unicode Consortium’s first gender-inclusive emoji, told Techskylight back in May that hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine emoji tend to alienate those who don’t ascribe to strict binaries.
“We separate people into different ‘kinds’ of people, but the kind thing to do is to see everyone as our kin. I hope the work I’m doing…is helping us to be able to see that we’re all more similar than we are different,” Hunt told Techskylight.