On Monday the Unicode Consortium released a proposal for more diversity in emojis to be included in the 2015 emoji update. Previously, there was only one yellow skin-tone backed by the Consortium for emojis. But this new document reports that five different shades will be added to the original yellow.
One of the most exciting parts of the proposal is how this new integration might work. Not only are these new skin-tones being added, but you will be able to choose your emoji’s skin-tone. Emojis will still be displayed as their original yellow color, but tapping on the emoji will bring up five other colors to choose from. So you can customize any emoji on the keyboard to be one of six different skin colors.
There has been a lot of criticism received by Unicode and Apple due to their lack of diversity in emojis. It has now finally garnered enough attention for them to make a serious response and change to this issue. People of all colors are using emojis, and deserve to feel like the emojis they use look like them.
Here are some clips from the Proposed Draft Unicode Technical Report #51:
People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette.
Five symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human emoji are planned for Unicode Version 8.0 (scheduled for mid-2015). These characters are based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognized standard for dermatology. The exact shades may vary between implementations.