Thanks for the Burrito Emojis, But Where Are All the Women?

The new Always ad makes a pretty legit point about the lack of female emojis.
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The new Always ad makes a pretty legit point about the lack of female emojis.

Maxi pad company Always has launched the third installment in its “Like A Girl” campaign, this time featuring tween girls discussing emojis. Specifically, the girls ponder the lack of female emojis in the professional and sports categories, with one girl poignantly observing: “There [are] no girls in the professional emojis. Unless you count being a bride as a profession.” Mic drop.

As research for this video, Always did a survey of 1,006 girls aged 16 to 24 and found that 75 percent of girls believe they should not only be portrayed doing feminine activities such as getting their hair cut or manicures, and 67 percent of girls say that the available female emojis imply that girls are limited in what they can do. The Unicode Consortium—the governing body of emojis, if you will—is listening, and, according to the Daily Dot, “has proposed new ways of modifying emoji, which include the ability to switch genders on emoji like the police officer or athletes.”

I’ve definitely had my own wonderings about which emojis have made their way onto my iPhone’s keyboard and which have inexplicably been left out. Explain to me how there is not a fingers crossed emoji, for example? How? And how are there thirteen different moon emojis? Are planetary scientists actually using emojis in their group chat about the lunar cycle? If not them, who else is making use of all thirteen variations of lunar fullness?

Also, twenty-four images of an analog clock—one for each hour and each half hour. There is literally no way that using a clock emoji is ever more efficient or more accurate than just using numbers. Maybe it’s more fun, somehow? But jeez, if clock emojis are your idea of a good time, it might be time to regroup.

Last year we saw the addition of two very important items onto the emoji keyboard: varied races and Mexican food. Progress! Yet somehow I cannot find a pregnant emoji to save my life, which seems like a real missed opportunity because I would use that emoji approximately one hour after using the burrito emoji 90 percent of the time.

Redheads and dancing men are also mysteriously absent, despite six hair color options to choose from and two separate female dancers (the red gown salsa dancer and the pair of Playboy Bunnies/Rockettes). So if you’re a redhead and/or a male dancer, the emoji landscape is looking pretty bleak for you.

One girl in the Like A Girl commercial notes when looking at the active emojis, “I’ve got rock climbing, biking, playing basketball . . . none of the girls are doing this.” I’ve got another bone to pick with the active emojis: What’s up with your runner friend? It’s bad enough that I have to use a dude to represent myself when I want to whimsically discuss my marathon training via text, but why is this dude wearing jeans? Is he fleeing a robbery? Am I actually telling people that I am a criminal on the run when I think I’m telling them that these long training runs are killing my weekend social life? Sorry, cant make it to brunch. Busy running ten miles/running from the cops. So please, by all means, give us some female options for the athletic emojis, but for crying out loud, at least put them in athleticwear.

And, if you think it’s not excessive to have every possible angle of the lunar cycle and time on the clock among the emoji offerings, then surely we have room for some more female varieties. I’m just saying.

Photo Credit: Always