People with ginger hair, or without any hair on their head at all for that matter, may finally get their own emojis as soon as 2018. The Emojipedia website has submitted new emojis to the Unicode Consortium, which approves emoji, in response to demands for more diversity of representation among emoji characters. If accepted, redheaded and bald emoji will be added next year, along with characters that have afros, white hair, and curly hair.
The proposed designs reflect naturally occurring looks that “aren’t currently supported in the informal skin tone/colour pairings” available today, Emojipedia wrote in its submission to the Unicode Technical Committee. It also noted that while “requests for representation of red hair in emoji have been ongoing”, the difficulty lay in the fact that there were “a number of competing implementation options.” To that end, Emojipedia also submitted a summary of various options for representing red-haired people in emoji to the UTC for discussion. Among the options are providing a single ginger-haired emoji, or allowing any emoji character to have red hair regardless of skin tone.
Emojipedia noted in its submission that it had tabled discussion on other varieties of emoji, omitting characters with “non-naturally occurring features, such as blue hair, piercings and tattoos” for another time. Earlier this year in January, Apple convened a meeting of the UTC, following months of persistent and vocal social media campaigning by users for more a redheaded emoji. For instance, an online petition for redheaded emoji received 20,000 signatures in Scotland, The Telegraph notes.
For years, Apple has been working to improve its emoji diversity, rolling out new batches of emoji characters on a fairly regularly basis with its iOS software updates. At the end of last year, for example, Apple introduced rockstar, astronaut, and welder emojis along with its iOS 10.2 software update. Whereas emojis used to be uniformly yellow, Apple emojis now represent a six skin tones, more than a dozen hair types, and scores of professions (for men and women).