Sure, the new burrito, unicorn, and cheese emojis are great, but where are the lady runners at?!
If you've ever tried to share running accomplishments on social media—logging your morning miles or completing a marathon—you know this to be true: The emoji selection for female runners is bleak. That blonde man running in a t-shirt, jeans, and black sneakers is not exactly representative of you (or your typical gym attire), but he's about as good as it gets.
And sadly, even with the recent iOS update, female runners—and athletes in general—didn't see much love. But hopefully that will be changing soon, thanks to distance runner and Olympian Molly Huddle (who, after her early celebration devastatingly cost her the bronze at the Beijing World Championship back in September, has been killing it lately, winning four USA Track & Field titles in five weeks).
Huddle submitted the idea for a runner girl emoji, arguing on Twitter that "a female athlete emoji is as important as a taco or unicorn." She explains the idea came to her while texting a friend. “We were on many seasons of sports teams together then and we are both still involved in sports in different capacities now so our conversation naturally involved a runner emoji, as most of my emoji-filled texts do, and she mentioned that there really needs to be a female runner emoji,” Huddle told Runner’s World.
After tweeting about it and getting a positive response, she enlisted the help of her training partner, elite professional runner Róisín McGettigan-Dumas. Together, they submitted the illustration to the Unicode Consortium—the group that oversees which new emojis get added to the mix.
“I thought there was a good case for one (all the sports characters look like dudes!). I thought I'd go ahead and submit something as it seemed more proactive than tweeting and I had nothing more pressing going on,” she said (although we're pretty sure "nothing" has a different definition for an elite athlete than it does for us).
Apparently, the process of submitting an emoji is pretty complicated, and Huddle has yet to hear back, so fingers crossed. And while this may not seem like the most pressing concern, we just want to know: If there's a male runner emoji, why isn't there a female? “Though it's a lighthearted topic very low on the totem poll of gender-equality issues, the request was serious and I would love to see it happen,” Huddle said. “I do love a good emoji.”
Don't we all, Molly.