A New Skin Tone Modifier Will Mean Racially Diverse Emojis in the Near Future

Users will be able to choose from six different skin tones for emoji characters when Unicode Version 8 is released.

Not Available Lead
Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

Not Available Lead

We all noticed a long time ago that our beloved emoji characters were lacking in the diversity department. There are a couple exceptions (e.g. the guy with the turban), but most of the characters are peach/yellow. That will change soon, as The Unicode Consortium has announced that Unicode Version 8.0 will feature a skin tone modifier, giving user the ability to long press on faces to access a "mini-palette of different skin tones."

"People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone," the Consortium wrote in the Diversity section of the Proposed Draft Unicode Technical Report #51. They added, "The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette." The skin tones that will be added are based on the Fitzpatrick scale, so not everyone will be able to choose a face that matches their skin perfectly, but it is definitely an improvement over the current selection.

There is no release date for Unicode Version 8, but we'll be waiting. The updates would make already awesome emoji versions of Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" and Rick Ross, Kanye West, and Big Sean's "Sanctified"​ even better.

[via Dazed]

Latest in Style