Social media is widely understood as a platform for freedom of expression. Among the many mediums it offers us to say what we think, is emojis, which are basically the animated version of our thoughts and words. While with every update, the emoji lexicon seems to be getting more elaborate and inclusive, two women have raised a pertinent issue, which we probably only had in our head and never said it out loud.
Why is the only bathing suit available in the emoji lexicon a polka-dot bikini?
Where’s the one piece & coverup swimsuit emoji…my summer body hasn’t come in yet 😂
— Milley (@ThatsSoShaDae) April 13, 2017
I hate that there’s no one-piece swimsuit emoji on the iPhone. No one wants to wear that pink bikini. — jenni avins (@jenniavins) June 5, 2015
They should put a one piece swimsuit emoji for us swimmers 😔
— Swimmer Forever (@swimm_probs) November 26, 2013
Florie Hutchinson and Jennifer Lee, you can probably call them emoji activists, have proposed to add more options for women to express themselves, and expanding the digital wardrobe of women users is seen as a first step.
Isn’t it about time we had an alternative to the itsy-bitsy bikini emoji? The woman who brought us the flat shoe icon is on to another gap in the glyph lexicon –https://t.co/wm86TLYBQl — Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) July 31, 2018
“I have worn them. But not every woman or girl wants to wear one, and they should have the ability to make another choice,” Hutchinson told NYTimes.
Not to be mistaken this as a repel against a bikini, because this argument is not against a bikini, but in favour of women who may not identify with a two piece swimwear as their beach look. The idea behind the proposal is to be inclusive of women who would maybe want to just go for a simple sporty one-piece swimsuit. The two said that the one-piece swimwear emoji will encourage body positivity and female expression. Although, there is a parallel argument that with the bikini, the clothing has been unnecessarily sexualized.
While Unicode Consortium, the forum that oversees the entire dictionary of emoji lexicon, is mulling over the proposal, everyone on the internet and in the industry are not convinced with the idea. Reportedly, two members of the International Organization for Standardization have expressed skepticism about the need for an additional swimsuit emoji. “Why? A person wanting to indicate the use of swimwear can’t use the existing BIKINI? Is this really necessary? What about a Victorian bathing costume? Or a wetsuit? Or water wings? Do not encode,” one of the members recommends to the emoji sub-committee. Though the coders have nudged off the proposal, twitterati has come in full support of the idea.
The fact there’s no one-piece swimsuit emoji tells me there’s not many 40+ women designing emojis. — Darlin’ Darla (@Darlainky) July 12, 2017
Male coders vs. the swimsuit emoji https://t.co/udWzlsdotj
— Taryana Odayar (@Taryana_Odayar) August 1, 2018
It’s “a failure of “theory of mind” with regard to emoji: How could anyone want an emoji that ‘I’ find useless or redundant? But I think it’s a subtle sign of the dearth of empathy in part of society” @jenny8lee on fight (w/ @floriehutch) for better emoji https://t.co/Se2OJq34PD
— Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (@rasmus_kleis) August 1, 2018
What are your thoughts about the whole proposal? Do you think being able to relate to emojis, which has become a language in itself, is important, or do you think this argument is unnecessary? Let us know in the comments below.