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'Insert Afro hair emoji here' | Brooklyn writer petitions for afro hair emojis

Bi-racial freelance writer, Rhianna Jones wears her hair natural and wants an emoji that looks like her
Credit: Kerrilyn Gibson

WASHINGTON — Sloth - ✔️
Waffle with butter -✔️
Flamingo - ✔️
Melting ice cube - ✔️

Still no afro hair emojis. But, Rhianna Jones, a freelance writer from Brooklyn, NY wants to change that.

"Emojis are a universal language of self expression," said Jones who has been signing her emails with "insert afro emoji here" for the last year or so. "Afro-haired users like myself," said Jones, "don’t have any emoji that reflect our hair or cultural identities. Everybody should be able to see themselves in the digital conversations they're having. Our hair and our stories matter." 

That's why she teamed up with her friend and graphic artist Kerrilyn Gibson to create a collection afro hair emojis. Jones created a petition on change.org in order to find "support [for] the natural hair movement and empower more users to celebrate not only their skin, but the hair that they’re in."

She set a goal of 25,000 signatures and, as of 1:45 p.m. on Monday, she has 23,207 signatures. 

Let's Make the Afro Hair Emoji Happen #AfroHairMatters

Additionally, Jones put in a request with Unicode, the team that reviews requests for new emoji characters, to include an Afro Hair Emoji in their 2020 selection. 

Unicode currently provides five skin tone options, but as a biracial (black and white) woman, her particular skin tone isn't represented. And she's not alone. Instagram user @netta9068 commented on Jones' IG post about the petition requesting emoji options that represent her half Japanese/half Caucasian and half Hawaiian/half Caucasian grandchildren. 

User @stylemavenlife points out that there aren't any black family emojis either. Jones wants people to sign the petition to show Unicode that there is a need for more diverse representation in their emoji offering. 

The process for getting approve from Unicode is lengthy and tedious. Check out a video from our sister station ABC10 in Sacramento about why emojis don't get rolled out sooner and faster. 

Are there any emojis that you want to see on your keyboard? Let us know! 

For more stories like this make sure to follow Ariane Datil on : Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Maybe you have a story idea or just want to say hi? Email her at adatil@wusa9.com.