Over the past few years, we’ve seen lots of barriers broken down in the world of emoji. Unicode, the governing body of non-verbal internet expression, has put an emphasis on expanding the availability of a variety of skin tones and both male and female emoji. Next year, it looks like they’ll be addressing a hairier issue. Unicode has released their slate of proposed emoji for next year, and it includes a lot of new hairstyles and colors, including — finally! — red hair.
Earlier this month, Unicode published a recommended list of emoji for the next major Unicode update, which happens every year in June. The proposed list for Unicode 11.0 is 67 emoji strong, including emoji options for red hair, white hair, afros, and no hair at all! It still seems crazy that there haven’t been any official red-haired emoji until now, but better late than never, I guess.
Otherwise, it looks like kind of a lean year. I’m scrolling down the list, and there are no standout emoji of the year candidates like there was when we got the shushing face, the thinking face, the smug face, or the crying laugh emoji. We’ve got caped superhero and villain emoji that look OK, and the emoji with party horn and party hat will have its uses. The poop emoji is now getting a sad version, but I don’t know, I feel like the poop emoji’s day has passed. I guess the puppy dog eyes emoji? I don’t know, besides the hair, I’m feeling uninspired.
Of course, a new slate of emoji means a handful of new animals, too. Shockingly, the llama, a longtime internet favorite, hasn’t had one, but it’s on the proposed list. The llama is joined by a kangaroo, a raccoon, a parrot, a hippo, a peacock, a lobster, and what is that mosquito doing in there get it out kill it.
Other handy extras include a red envelope, although it’ll come out way after the next Lunar New Year celebration. There’s also a red firecracker, plus a skateboard and a teddy bear — two more surprising longtime omissions.
There’s loads more to check out, and you can peep the whole list here. We’ll slip in the caveat that these are only proposals — technically, some of these emoji might not make it into the official release, but Unicode usually approves all or most emoji proposed around this time of year. Once Unicode gives the emoji the green light and releases their new update in June of next year, it’ll be on individual emoji purveyors like Apple, Android, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft to design their own versions and push them out to users.