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Apple's latest emoji update is noticeably light on women, so here are a few suggestions

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10 emojis Apple should include in its next update that would promote gender equality

By Cynthia Allum on April 9, 2015

In an effort to be more “diverse,” Apple has released new emojis in five different skin tones — plus a standard Simpsons-yellow in the event you catch a nasty case of jaundice. Despite the tech giant’s attempt to address racial biases, they haven’t done much to be less gender-biased with their emoji options. (Although we do love the new surfing woman, which is perfect for Bangladesh’s rising crop of surfer girls.) Here are 10 emoji additions I’d like to see in the next update.

1. Female bikers, runners, swimmers, and boat rowers. Because it’s 2015 and women can do these things, too. It’s great that the new emojis allow us to pick what race we want our athlete to be, but why are they still all men?


2. Two boys dancing. Because I’ll need them when I hire some Manservants to fan me while we watch Magic Mike XXL. And they can dance with the random twins in leotards. Why are the only two girls dancing wearing bunny ears? Who’s the designer, Hugh Hefner?

Katie Booth/Women in the World
Katie Booth/Women in the World

3. A woman wearing a headscarf. Because many Muslim, Christian, and Jewish women wear headscarves. Emojis should be universal, and everyone has the right to wear what they want.

4. A tampon. Because having something in such a popular communication platform that represents menstruation would make it less taboo. Why is there still stigma attached to having your period? More than half the world is experiencing, has experienced, or will experience it. But pictures of period stains are getting pulled down from Instagram, women in Britain are protesting tampon taxes, and military commanders sing misogynistic songs about it.

5. A groom, to go along with the bride. Because a bride shouldn’t be the only emoji that represents matrimony. And who wouldn’t want to see a cute little digital man in a tux?

6. A woman with curls. Because there should be an emoji that reflects the natural hair movement, not another reason to make women feel like their hair should be straight. Even though there are now emojis that represent African-American women, why is straight hair still the only option?


7. A woman in a suit, not just a red dress. Because I need something for all my text messages on Hillary. (Trust me, there will be many.)

8. A man wearing a crownBecause women aren’t the only drama queens, am I right?

9. A pregnant woman. Because pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and the least we can do is acknowledge that beauty with a little digital lady who sports a baby bump.

10. Breasts. Because we need to #freethenipple.