What young women really think of emojis

A new survey has revealed young women are disappointed with the limited choice of female emojis.
A new survey has revealed young women are disappointed with the limited choice of female emojis.

As Beyoncé once said, "Who runs the world? Girls". But it seems like the makers of cartoon emojis have missed the memo.

A new survey has revealed young women are disappointed with the limited choice of female emojis, saying the cartoon images are sexist and represent a limited perception of women's interests.

The drawings, available on most smartphones and used widely on social media, feature female characters getting their hair cut, sporting flowing dresses, flashing pink manicures and wearing bunny ears.

According to the study, conducted as part of the Procter & Gamble Always #LikeAGirl campaign, almost half of the 1002 young women surveyed saw female emojis as stereotypical. The survey also revealed 60 per cent of respondents aged 16 to 24 think the female emojis currently on offer imply girls are limited in what they can do.

When asked if they wanted to see women portrayed more progressively, the answer was a resounding yes, with 70 per cent saying they would like to see the female cartoon characters represented as athletes or law enforcement officers, like the male equivalents.

"The girls in emoji only wear pink, are princesses or dancing bunnies, do their nails and their hair, and that's about it. No other activities, no sports, no jobs ... the realisation is shocking," said research leader Michele Baeten.

"Of course, societal limitations are broader than just emoji, but when we realised that stereotypical, limiting messages are hiding in places as innocent as emoji, it motivated us to demand change."

The study found 82 per cent of the young women surveyed use emojis on a daily basis.

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