It may seem like there's an emoji for everything—tacos, jugglers, and fax machines all have their corresponding tiny pictures. But one emoji type that somehow doesn't exist yet? One showing interracial couples. Now, Alexis Ohanian and Tinder are looking to change that by petitioning Unicode (the emoji creators) to add emojis that show interracial couples.
Using the hashtag #RepresentLove, the Reddit co-founder (and husband to Serena Williams) highlighted the importance of showing children all different kinds of relationships. “As many of these proposal authors are current and future parents of children with interracial parents, we want our kids to have emojis that look like their parents," he said in a statement. "Emojis are the universal language of the internet and should reflect the modern world where interracial relationships are normal.”
Tinder created a petition, backed by Ohanian and others, on Change.org that calls for more representation online. "Why is Tinder involved? We believe all love deserves emoji representation," the petition reads. "But that’s not all—research shows that online dating and interracial relationships go hand in hand. In fact, a recent study suggested that Tinder, and the resulting increased popularity of dating apps, may be responsible for an increase in interracial marriages." The dating app recently conducted a survey on this topic and released its findings in conjunction with the petition.
And in fact, there have been quite a few petitions for new emojis in recent years. Ohanian himself previously signed on to The Hijab Emoji Project, which has also petitioned the Unicode Consortium for an emoji of a woman wearing a headscarf. Unicode accepted the petition and announced in late 2016 that the hijab emoji—along with a breast-feeding emoji, person in lotus position, open-mouth vomiting, and bearded person—would soon be adapted. Some of these were implemented in 2017, but others have yet to be included in updates. Tinder's Change.org petition does warn that it can take two years or more to see a new emoji come to life.
In the meantime, while signatures pile up for the petition, Tinder is offering couples who post a pic of themselves in the classic emoji stance (holding hands) on Twitter and tag @tinder with #RepresentLove a chance to win an emojified version of themselves. See the cute inspiration, below.