To paraphrase one famous and fish-tailed redhead: We’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. We’ve got smileys and whatsits galore. You want pictures of trains? We’ve got like 20. But who cares? No big deal. We want more.
Little Mermaid (1989) parodies aside, the sentiment is very real: The redheads of the world are clamoring for emojis that look like them. As Emojipedia editor Jeremy Burge writes on his blog, the lack of redhead options has been a top complaint for the last few months. In response, Burge and the Emoji Subcommittee have drafted a proposal [PDF], which they’ll present next week during a meeting with the Unicode Technical Committee.
The proposal lays out two possible ways of rectifying this grievous problem. Unicode could create an emoji of a person with red hair. That emoji would work just like the blonde emoji, allowing users to customize for skin tone and gender.
It’s a simple solution that would be easy to implement, but there are some downsides. First, it keeps redheads as faces only and does not permit them to participate in any emoji activities like sports, cooking, or facepalming. Secondly, the subcommittee notes, "Creating a new human emoji for a single trait may not be desirable precedent."
The second option is adding a pale skin/red hair option to skin color options, which would allow for redheaded facepalming but also incorrectly assumes that all redheads have pale skin.
Burge notes that the work to create the emoji might not be worth it, and that even an uproarious mob of redhead emoji users is still a pretty small group of people. He might be underestimating redheads’ natural gift for clamoring.
If the concept moves forward, we may be seeing redhead emojis by 2018.