Smartphone giant rolls out gender-neutral emojis – media
Apple has reportedly included pregnant man and gender-neutral pregnant person emojis in a software update for its operating system. The designs are apparently among 37 new emojis bundled with the iOS 15.4 version, which was released for bug testing on Thursday.
The Unicode Consortium, a California-based nonprofit organization that oversees emoji standards, had approved the designs last September. They were included in a variety of skin tones as part of its Emoji 14.0 update. Companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft create and apply stylized versions of the emojis for their respective operating systems.
Apple’s designs were revealed by Emojipedia – a reference website and Unicode Consortium member – in a blog post on Thursday. The ‘First Look’ post by the site’s editor-in-chief, Keith Broni, includes a section on ‘gender consistency’.
“Since 2019, vendors have been making considerable efforts to offer all people emojis with three different gender variants – one ‘Man’, one ‘Woman’, and a non-gender-specifying ‘Person’,” Broni wrote, adding that the latest Apple update “continues this trend by adding two new gender neutral people emojis in the form of ‘Person with Crown’ and ‘Pregnant person’, as well as adding a new ‘Pregnant Man’ emoji.”
New emojis in iOS 15.4 beta https://t.co/BANvmer69Kpic.twitter.com/uEDMEpnQWK— Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) January 27, 2022
In addition, the site contains sections on the two emojis, describing them as a pregnant man and person holding his and “their round stomach.” It noted that the emoji may “sometimes [be] used in jest to represent feeling too full after overeating,” referring to such usage as denoting a “food baby.”
These emojis were “approved to make the emoji keyboard more consistent and gender inclusive,” the site notes. Similarly, the section on the androgynous ‘Person with Crown’ emoji – which joins the gendered ‘Princess’ and ‘Prince’ variants – was apparently “created to represent royalty without being overly specific about gender.”
Apple has not commented on the emojis yet.