Unicode announced 117 new emojis, and the gender-inclusive caretaker ones are speaking to us
Just like the English language it threatens to usurp, emoji is an ever-expanding, ever-evolving lexicon. And today, the Unicode Consortium has gifted the world with 117 new emoji for 2020—aka 117 new ways to express subtle emotions and other messages that traditional, written language is just too limited to describe. Can we get a *raised hands*?
Emoji are direct reflections of the evolution of the culture—remember the introduction of the sloth emoji in 2019?—and this year’s stable feels especially representative of our collective push toward representation and inclusivity.
Some of our favorites? A woman and a gender-neutral person in a tuxedo; a man and a gender-neutral person in a veil; a woman, man, and gender-neutral person feeding a baby (because it’s not just women who are caretakers!); and the transgender flag and transgender symbol. We’re also digging the gender-neutral interpretation of Santa Claus.
Welcome to the emoji world, Mx. Claus!
As we’ve come to expect from our weird and beloved language of symbols, Unicode threw some truly random things on the 2020 emoji list, too. There’s an entire selection of animals, some of which are extinct. Dodos and mammoths and beavers, oh my! There’s a potted plant, because we are all plant moms now. There’s a pinata, a fondue pot, a plunger, a teapot, a ninja, bubble tea and flatbread and tamales and blueberries and anatomically correct hearts. There is, in short, everything you never knew you needed to express in emoji form—until now.
We can’t say for sure when all 64 Emoji 13.0 (117 once you count skin-tone variations) will be available on your phone. Unicode simply creates the original emoji designs, then platforms like Apple, Google, WhatsApp, and Twitter create their own interpretations and roll them out on their own timelines.
That said, Emojipedia said in its Instagram announcement that the new designs will be available in the second half of 2020. Until then, you can take a look at all 117 forthcoming emoji in slideshow form below.
We’re already thinking about how to slip an accordion and a seal into casual conversation.