NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There are hundreds of emojis, little digital icons that represent everything from food to the weather, but one local woman claims emojis don’t represent all people.
Now she’s on a mission to change that.
New emojis make the cut every year, but a Brooklyn woman says there’s one still missing from the mix.
Rhianna Jones says an emoji featuring an afro hairstyle is long overdue. She’s been getting by with a short term solution when she texts.
“Asterik… insert afro emoji here because there never was one,” Jones said.
Jones and friend, Kerrilyn Gibson came up with the “afromoji” last week.
“Our design is distinctively an afro, because it starts here, it goes up, she’s round, she’s fluffy, and she takes up space,” Jones explained.
Next, Jones will submit a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, that’s the entity that decides which emojis are added.
Anyone can submit an idea, but CNET editor Dan Ackerman explains the panel is pretty picky.
“The group that looks at it, they take their job very seriously. They pick ones that will be widely used by people and they pick ones that fill a hole where they actually need a new emoji,” Ackerman said.
Earlier this year new emojis to recognize people with disabilities were introduced – like people in wheelchairs and users of service or guide dogs.
Gender neutral emojis have also been announced. That inclusivity, Jones says, should extend to everyone.
“We should be able to embrace not only the skin that we’re in but the hair that we’re in and bring that big hair energy in to digital spaces.”
She hopes the digital space is more than just where the conversation starts.
“What I really want is not only the emoji to be approved but for there to be more of a conversation around natural hair and afro hair,” Jones added.
Jones has created a Change.org petition to gather support for the idea.