Will It Be Racist When My White Friends Start Using Black Emojicons?

Will It Be Racist When My White Friends Start Using Black Emojicons?

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In June 2015, Apple iOS will allow text messengers to send racially diverse emoji emoticons. The old emoji had only yellow or white-skinned faces. The next wave will let you select five skin-tone shades from peach to dark brown.

If Apple makes it easy to preset the preferred skin color of all your emoji, a lot more black faces could start showing up in your text messages. 

I, for one, am excited about using dark-skinned emoji. After all, until now the only dark-skinned emoji-faces have been these:

dark faced emoji, emojicons, emoticons, Apple iOS, race, racist, black, African-American

In contrast, here’s all the yellow or white -skinned faces (notice the cat ones):

white face, yellow skin, skinned, faced, faces, emojicon, emoticon, gay blog, iOS

It’s unclear whether Apple will let us change the color of cat faces to resemble different breeds or whether there will be a brown-skinned surfer and black-skinned Joker playing card emojis. Maybe those will stay white. We don’t know yet.

Being able to change the skin color of a lot of them though will allow me to finally share a face more like my own when reacting to text messages. 

Will my white friends make their emojis faces a different color from their own, the same way that I occasionally play female video game and role-playing characters, just try something new? What will it mean if we keep using the yellow or white-skinned emoticons? Will that mean we are racist? Or lazy? Or lazy racists?

And what if a white friend sends me a black emoticon face one day? Will a black smiley face mean something different from a white one when my white friend sends it? Will it be a joke? Will it be a small acknowledgement of the many times that I’ve had to send a white faces as a reactions?

I imagine the black emojicon face looking into mine, neither I nor it entirely sure what to think.

(featured image via Dylan Pech)

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