Emojis have become one of the most popular and easiest ways for us to express ourselves, not only in text messages, but also throughout social media. Looking back on the early days of emojis, the choices were definitely limited for minorities who longed to see pictorial versions of themselves. However, welcomed change and more inclusion has occurred in previous years and the latest emoji update should make the natural hair community proud.
Scheduled to be released in late summer/early fall, it was recently announced that a new batch of natural hair emojis are on the way. With natural hair becoming more of a force within the fashion and beauty arenas, the addition of emojis that showcase natural hair on various complexions is right on time. If you’re familiar with emojis, you know that currently all of the male/female images have straight hair, leaving those with naturally curly hair feeling left out, luckily this new emoji roll-out aims to rectify that.
Many members of the natural hair community are pretty excited about the addition of natural hair emojis, including Jessica Latten, founder of Natural Hair, a popular group on Facebook that boasts over 243,000 members. The group not only celebrates the beauty of natural hair, but also frequently discusses the societal pressures about and around natural hair care.
When discussing her feelings about the new natural hair emojis, Latten was honest and forthcoming, detailing just how important it is to see representation:
“It’s extremely empowering for women who wear their hair natural to see natural hair emojis being introduced. Natural hair is beautiful and versatile, but so rarely represented and celebrated in the media. I created the Facebook Group Natural Hair, a supportive community of nearly 250K women, to bring women together and celebrate all different hairstyles, from cornrows to Locs, or anything else that makes them feel comfortable. The decision to go natural can be extremely difficult for some women as they struggle with issues of self-esteem and our society’s typical standards of beauty. It is so important for women to have a community that they can turn to for support, advice and even friendship. We could all benefit from seeing more women that look like us portrayed publicly, so seeing ourselves represented in natural hair emojis is a huge step forward for the natural hair movement.”
Now that natural hair emojis are here, perhaps we can get some Afrocentric emojis in the future? Maybe the success of films like Black Panther will let the technology industry know just how important and profitable minority representation can be.