A "period emoji" will be included in the upcoming release of new smartphone images, after nearly 55,000 people weighed in to support a campaign aimed at destigmatizing menstruation.
What are the details?
Children's rights charity Plan International UK launched the campaign for a period emoji after conducting a 2017 survey "and discovered just how much shame and stigma still impact girls' and women's experiences of having their period." The organization created five designs, and 55,000 people voted on which one they liked best.
The winning image was dubbed "period pants." Plan International UK submitted it to the emoji powers-that-be at Unicode, but "sadly, the design didn't get accepted." Undeterred, Plan International UK partnered with NHS Blood and Transplant and submitted its second-place design — the blood droplet — which was accepted.
Lucy Russell, head of girls' rights and youth at Plan International UK, issued a statement celebrating the period emoji's acceptance:
"For years we've obsessively silenced and euphemized periods. As experts in girls' rights, we know that this has a negative impact on girls; girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they're missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence.
"The inclusion of an emoji...is a huge step toward normalizing periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them," Russell added. "An emoji isn't going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it."
We are thrilled to announce that we are actually getting a #PeriodEmoji! It is through your support that we can no… https://t.co/m3n2KRoyod— PlanInternational UK (@PlanInternational UK) 1549455690.0
Yahoo Style UK reported that the online reaction to the new e-sticker has been mixed, ranging from social media users calling it "wonderful news" to "disgusting."
Along with the blood droplet symbol, Unicode is rolling out another 58 emojis in March. Several are focused on ending stigmas against people with disabilities, such as wheelchair emojis and an ear with a hearing aid. A handful of new food images are also included, like a waffle and a beverage box.
Another new emoji raising eyebrows is the so-called "pinching hand," which is already being referred to online as the "small penis emoji."
https://t.co/VDuTqKwVl8— VICE (@VICE) 1549526409.0