After years of online campaigning, a set of red-headed emojis may soon be headed to the Internet's preeminent emoji encyclopedia in 2018.
In early August, Emojipedia included "Top of Head With Red Hair" in its announcement of draft candidates for Unicode 11.0, the industry encoding standard whose June of 2018 update will see the release of new emojis. The proposal says that this top of hair should be used in "ZWJ sequences," or, be available to all genders and skin tones. On Monday, the Twitter feed of the blog How to Be a Redhead spread the news by tweeting that redheaded emojis would be coming next summer (draft candidates still have to be approved at the Emoji Subcommittee at Unicode fourth-quarter meeting before they will be rolled out.)
The introduction of redheaded emojis as draft candidates comes as a victory for gingers who have campaigned for representation in emoji for years. In 2015, a petition to Apple and the Unicode Consortium to include redheaded emojis garnered nearly 22,000 supporters. People have written op-ed after op-ed advocating for justice for gingers; others have taken to social media to voice their frustration over the lack of representation.
"Requests for representation of red hair in emoji have been ongoing, yet prove a challenge to address due to a number of competing implementation options," Jeremy Burge, the founder of Emojipedia, wrote in a document posing possible solutions for the red-headed emoji problem in January.
The fourth-quarter meeting to decide whether the new look will make the cut will be held in October.