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Why Do the Emoji Makers Have Such a Problem with Female Athletes?

 

Some people like using exclamation points in text, some use zero puncuation. Some spell out words like "you" and "to" and some people channel old-school flip-phone abbreviations (CU l8r!). But nearly everyone uses emojis—after all, why explain your emotions, when that little yellow "ugh" face says it all?

And that's what we're feeling right now: ugh. Because as much as we loooove emojis, and as excited as we are for all the new ones (including bacon and avocado) that came out today (!!!), there's a big problem: the lack of female emojis playing sports. That makes us a feel a certain type of way—and it's not a smiley face

We're not the first ones to point it out: Always released a video as part of their #LikeAGirl campaign that shows the emojis that young girls wish they had to communicate with. People started asking: are emojis sexist and promoting female stereotypes? Runner and Olympian Molly Huddle even campaigned for a female runner emoji last October. We thought that all the buzz might change things—especially with the recent release, because they added a whole slew of sports emojis (like hand ball, wrestling, water polo, and gymnastics). But only one appears to be female: the gymnast. (Thank goodness we also have Olympian gymnast Gabby Douglas's new emojis to throw in the mix.) But who says girls can't run, play basketball, bike, or swim? And more importantly, why is the default for an active or sporty emoji a male, but the default haircut and massage emoji a female?

OK, OK, there's one exception: the fencers, which are covered in their protective gear, and could feasibly be any gender. So for now, we're going to pretend that one of them is badass female Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, and know that she can slay the rest of those male emojis any day.

This is a callout to Unicode, AKA the emoji gods of the universe. Attention: We need some female athletes, stat. There are plenty of strong AF ones we love in real life, and we should be able to make it rain with emojis that can relate to them.

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