Always 'Like a Girl' Says the Female Emojis Are Terrible Favorite 



Mar 2 2016


Youtube, Online

Most brands have expressed eternal love for emojis in recent years, as they try to talk the talk of young people today. Not so fast, says Always' "Like a Girl" campaign, which points out in a new ad that the images of women in the standard Unicode emoji set are woefully stereotypical.

As this piece in Mic recently pointed out, female emojis are severely limited. Beyond the neutral female emoji, there's a princess, a bride, a pair of twins, a dancer in a red dress and a series of "information desk" characters. Male emoji characters, meanwhile, include Santa Claus, a policeman, a guardsman, a detective, a construction worker and an angel.

There are two gender-ambiguous athletes with long hair—playing basketball and surfing. But most of the emoji athletes are male, including a horseback rider, a bowler, a runner, a golfer and a swimmer.

For the new "Like a Girl" spot, Leo Burnett interviewed girls and asked them how they feel about the emoji set today. Check out their responses through the link attached below.

Always isn't the first brand to criticize emojis. Last year, Dove noticed that there's a "one size fits all" hair type for female emojis—"straight and sleek, the traditional beauty ideal." The Unilever brand ended up releasing its own Dove Love Your Curls Emoji Keyboard, developed in partnership with Snaps, which featured curly-haired emojis.

Emoji images are particularly important, Always says, because they are used so much by young, impressionable people.

"We know that girls, especially during puberty, try to fit in and are therefore easily influenced by society. In fact, we found that 7 out of 10 girls even felt that society limits them, by projecting what they should or should not do, or be," says Michele Baeten, associate brand director and lead Always "Like a Girl" leader at Procter & Gamble. "The girls in emojis only wear pink, are princesses or dancing bunnies, do their nails and their hair, and that's about it. No other activities, no sports, no jobs … the realization is shocking."

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