A single red blood drop is among the list of 59 new emojis announced this week by the Unicode Consortium, the organization in charge of developing the official emojis of the world. And while it’s just a nondescript drop of blood that can certainly be used to mean a variety of things, Unicode’s site specifically lists "menstruation" as one of its associated keywords — a win for women the world over who just want to tell their partners/friends/moms that they’re on their period and have feelings about it.
This new addition comes on the heels of Plan International U.K.’s campaign for a period emoji following a 2017 survey by the organization that highlighted the ongoing stigma and shame around menstruation among girls and women in the U.K. The results prompted Plan to create a proposal for a period-pants emoji (we all have our period pants), which was backed by almost 55,000 voters, in an effort to normalize the conversation around menstruation. When the proposal wasn’t accepted, Plan partnered with NHS Blood and Transplant and submitted a new proposal for the winning blood-drop emoji.
We are thrilled to announce that we are actually getting a #PeriodEmoji!
— PlanInternational UK (@PlanUK) February 6, 2019
Of note, too, is the new one-piece bathing-suit emoji, which comes after a call for a less sexualized swimsuit than the existing bikini emoji. And Unicode isn’t leaving men out, either. The new pinching-hand emoji, which is nothing more than a thumb and index finger with little room in between, is listed only with the keyword "small amount" on Unicode’s website. And yet. The internet is ablaze because we all know it will likely be used, nine times out of 10, to describe the below-average size of a certain, um, male appendage.
Unicode’s new 12.0 list comes with 171 variants for gender and skin tone, totaling 230 emojis in all, which will allow for more options to better represent gender identity and race in emoji couples. And, for the first time, inclusivity of people with disabilities is represented in the new emojis — such as a wheelchair, hearing aid, and service dog — which comes in response to Apple’s March 2018 proposal to Unicode requesting new accessibility emojis.
While they’re not available for use yet, you can expect to see the new emojis on your phone come September or October of this year. And until then, you can use the "Okay" hand emoji, which kind of looks like the pinching hand.
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