Why are there no emojis that represent interracial couples?
A group of advocates which include dating app Tinder, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and the founder of Emojinotion, Jennifer 8, are asking Unicode Consortium to add interracial couple emoji into its mix. The Consortium is the nonprofit that reviews and develops emoji standards,
In a proposal made public on Tuesday, they ask for the addition of 21 different sequences with various skin tones for the existing emoji, “couple with heart,” for example.
Tinder also launched a Change.org petition to drum up support.
“As the largest and most diverse platform for meeting new people, we are uniquely positioned and incredibly proud to petition for this update,” said Rosette Pambakian, Tinder’s head of brand, in an e-mail. “Inclusivity is a core value at Tinder, and we believe in fighting for what our users believe in.”
Pambakian said Tinder “ideated the concept” for the interracial couples and is an author of the proposal.
There’s been a steady rise in interracial marriages since 1967, according to a Pew Research Study. In 2015, about 17% of all newlyweds were in interracial relationships.
Tinder recently paid for a study on interracial couples that it also released on Tuesday. Its findings reveal 61% of respondents say they’re “very open” to the idea of interracial dating and marriage.
The interracial couple emojis proposal features photos of some of the authors and their biracial spouses.
Ohanian is pictured with his wife, professional tennis star Serena Williams. He said in the proposal that emojis should reflect current society.
“We want our kids to have emojis that look like their parents,” he said in a statement. “Emojis are the universal language of the internet and should reflect the modern world where interracial relationships are normal.”
Ohanian was one of the advocates who helped make the hijab emoji a reality in 2017, along with Emojination’s Lee.
Lee, who has advocated for a number of emoji including the dumpling, is a coauthor of the interracial couple proposal.