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Finally, a “Period Blood” Emoji is Coming to Your Phone

Over 230 new emojis have been released. One called “the pinching hand” reminds men of how small their...phones are.

Not that we needed more emojis, but the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization whose actual job is to manage global emoji standards, will release 230 more icons this year.

The final list of new images includes interracial couples, a prosthetic arm, wheelchair users, and gestures from American Sign Language. With diverse representations of physical abilities, orientations, gender identities, and skin tones, the Emoji v12.0 data set is all about inclusivity.

The disability-themed emojis were proposed by Apple, who developed the concept with the American Council of the Blind and the National Association of the Deaf, along with other disability rights groups. The proposal read, "One in seven people around the world has some form of disability. Adding emojis emblematic to users' life experiences helps foster a diverse culture that is inclusive of disability."

One breakout star in the new crop of icons is the "drop of blood" emoji. Designed by the girls' rights charity, Plan International UK, to represent menstruation, the blood drop is meant to destigmatize the topic for young girls experiencing puberty. Plan International collaborated with the British National Health Service to propose: "Not only would a blood drop emoji be relevant for hundreds of millions of women and people who menstruate all around the world, it would also show that periods aren't taboo and they are something we should be able to talk about openly and honestly." Lucy Russell, head of Plan International, added, "An emoji isn't going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it."

There's also "the pinching hand" emoji, which the Internet is proudly re-christening as "the tiny penis" emoji. It's the reality check for the bulbous purple eggplant that we've all been waiting for.

Beginning in September or October (depending on your mobile phone carrier), you'll have at your disposal icons for every appropriate social situation–but why not go even further? Hopefully, we'll soon adapt icons for every inappropriate social situation, as well. The next time someone at your office scream-sneezes, imagine being able to simply send one "spittle" icon to silently shame him into never doing it again. Carmen Barlow at Plan International believes emojis encourage those kinds of open conversations, stating, "Emojis play a crucial role in our digital and emotional vocabulary, transcending cultural and country barriers."

We already have the "poop" emoji; imagine having a tiny "fart" icon to alert others when someone's violated an elevator. Hey, Unicode Consortium, Emoji v.13?


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com


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