Teenage girls have been known to have entire conversations with friends over text with just the use of emojis. Those little expressive images help teens convey almost anything from humor to much more serious feelings and everything in between. A new Always #LikeAGirl campaign is asking the question whether these emojis our girls are seeing and using every day are sending the right message about what it mean to be a woman.
Since 2014, the sanitary napkin company has been using the #LikeAGirl campaign to send positive messages to young women while they head through the sometimes confusing and difficult stages of puberty. In this new video, we see young women talk about emojis and realize that the emojis currently available to them are both stereotypical, offensive, and do little to represent what it’s actually like to be a girl. According to a national survey conducted by Always 54% of 18 - 24 year old girls believe emojis are stereotypical and 67% of girls agree that the currently available emojis imply girls are limited in what they can and cannot do.
One teen in the video points out, “There’s no girls in the profession emojis, unless you count being a bride a profession.” But there are plenty of men doing things like rock climbing, biking, playing basketball, and surfing. In the middle of the video Always points out, “”At puberty, girls’ confidence plummets. So what does it say when even emojis limit them to sterotypes?” During a time when we should be building their confidence and empowering young women, we are instead hitting them with a barrage of sterotypical images of how women should act.
Later in the video, the young women begin to say what types of emojis they would like to see created so that they can be better represented. The girls come up with everything from female wrestlers, soccer players, drummers, bikers, police officers, lawyers, and more. You know, basically everything real girls and women do every day.
Rachel Simmons, co-founder of national non-profit Girls Leadership explains to CNN that the new #LikeAGirl campaign opened her eyes to how limiting emojis are for women. She says, “It's sort of something that is hiding in plain sight. And then as soon as you see it, you can't unsee it.” It may not seem like a big deal to some, but these are images that many girls are seeing and using constantly. Simmons adds, “And so if you are exposed to a stream of images of girls kind of doing more feeling than doing, girls are emoting rather than doing, that is sending a message around girls being more passive or that girls should be more passive, and boys should be more active.”
What do you think of the new Always #LikeAGirl campaign pointing out the flaws in the currently available emojis?
Do you think emojis should be made to better represent women?