Your keyboard is about to get 755 new racially diverse emojis


Emoji are about to get more racially diverse. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Emoji are about to get more racially diverse. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Racial diversity has been a problem for emoji for years now, but the Unicode Consortium has finally proposed a new solution that will add more than 755 new character options to the little pictograms that have quickly replaced all our words.

Five new skin tones will added to the mostly white faces of the emoji character set, according to a draft for Unicode Version 8.0 that will hopefully get adopted pretty quickly to get, after Apple and others began to push for characters that reflect the diversity of its users.

A mockup of medium-brown shaded Apple emojis. Photo: Emoji Blog
A mockup of medium-brown shaded Apple emojis. Photo: Emoji Blog

The new skin tones are based off the six skin types in the Fitzpatrick scale, the recognized standard in dermatology that divides skin types into categories ranging from dark brown skin down to pale white.

People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette. Unicode Version 8.0 is adding 5 symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human emoji.

The new set of skin tones modifiers will be applicable to 151 characters in the emoji set. To implement the new skin tone modifiers, the Unicode consortium suggests Apple and others use a long press to bring up a color swatch, or they could just list the 755 new emoji variants on a really long page.

Even black and white displays will be supported in the proposed updated, but ultimately, Unicode says “there are many other types of diversity in human appearance besides different skin tones” like hair style, body shape, facial hair, that are beyond their scope of scope of support.

But don’t worry. They’re working to make embedded graphics the new emoji, because everyone knows GIFS are where it’s at now anyway.


Via: Gizmodo

  • why god why

    Oh my god who the hell actually cares about some stupid shit like this?

    • Marcus Garvey

      How about non white people like myself that would like to be included in these things too.

      • Ali Fawaz

        Do you feel racially offended if there are no emojis with your skin color? Or do you find a use of different colored emoji?

      • why god why.


      • Marcus Garvey

        I don’t feel offended. Just excluded.

      • why god why

        I’m non white and I couldn’t care less if an emoji has a skin tone similar to mine. Smiling poop emoji means the same thing no matter the color and regardless of my color. If you need something this trivial for validation then I’m sorry.

      • Marcus Garvey

        How would you feel if all the emoji were black? Not a single white emoji was present.

      • Ali Fawaz

        well, the emojis are not even white, they are yellow…

      • Marcus Garvey

        Actually there are over 3 pages of white faces. Just scroll past the yellow ones…you’ll find em smart guy

      • Ali Fawaz

        oh right, i forgot about those ones. I never use them anyways…

      • why god why

        About the same way as I feel about the majority of them being white, I couldn’t and wouldn’t care less.

        Like I said, I’m non-white, (or didn’t you read?). This means shit all to me because just about everything under the sun is more important than congruency between mine and my emoji’s skin tone or lack thereof.

  • Jason Bennett

    Because the little yellow smiley-faced guy was WILDLY racist. /SMH

  • Thomas Becker

    Clearly yellow = white also SMH

  • Dutchman

    In the old days we used to call things like emojis ‘wasting bandwidth’…

  • 486DX50

    I don’t think this is a good idea. Now I have to scroll through all 755 characters to find the right one? And what if I don’t know the color tone of the other party’s face who I’m chatting with?

  • 486DX50

    Just make them all blue, geez

    • sigzero

      That would be the best answer to this stupidity.

  • Rationale

    If they’re gonna do this they should make it so it doesn’t make you scroll through 1000+ emojis to find the smiling poop one. Like leave the default skin tone and allow whoever cares this much about emoji ethnicity to float over a certain one to open up skin tone options.

  • Greg_the_Rugger

    Where is my redhead?

    • RBR

      And where’s the fro?

  • Mendoza


  • DigitalBeach

    I dunno, man…. the hair still looks like something only a whitey whould have.

  • Stephen Agnew

    How is liver failure a race??

  • Leovinius

    So, where do the grey people live? And won’t Sikhs need a male with a turban? Will there be a female in hijab, so Islamic women can also find a representation? How about transgenders? Redheads?