We are a culture obsessed with emojis. We use them to express our emotions, send cryptic messages to our friends, and, let’s be honest, to just be silly. In fact, we use emojis so often that the Oxford Dictionary “word of the year” for 2015 was the tears-of-joy emoji! If you think about it, when was the last time you sent a message that didn’t contain an accompanying icon?
When was the last time you sent one about your period?
Was it something like this?
Bodyform, a femcare company out of the UK, wants to hep you with that, and at the same time encourage open conversation around menstruation.
Some say the use of emojis make us better communicators in non face-to-face conversations. This is because when you are speaking to someone directly you can pick up on their non-verbal cues to get a better understanding of their emotional state. Over text, however, emotions, tone and context can easily be misinterpreted. Emojis also allow us the opportunity to say things we may not be able to say in person.
With a nod to their ever-increasing use in our current lexicon, emojis have more recently become slightly more racially, culturally, religiously and lifestyle diverse. Which is great. We’ve even seen some incredibly diverse vagina emojis. But Bodyform noticed an important gap in emoticon diversity: a lack of menstrual emojis. So they started a petition to add menstrual emojis — “femojis” — to every smartphone keyboard.
Bodyform makes an excellent point in that: “Millions of girls and women find it hard to talk about their periods, which can cause embarrassment, anxiety and lack of confidence…” and want to add these “femojis” so menstruating people can comfortably express themselves during their periods. The company believes that the addition of femojis will help “…break down period taboos and encourage people to express how they feel about periods.” We love, love, love this idea and are more than happy to support menstrual emojis for all!
(Though we do wish the set included even more, like some menstrual cups, tampons, and an empowered woman who’s not a flamenco dancer or a dancing bunny.)
If you would like to help make femojis a reality, be sure spread the word and sign Bodyform’s petition by March 21st. Let’s continue diversifying our emoji keyboards and make an important stride in undoing the taboo!
Here’s their full letter directed at the Unicode Consortium, the powers that be setting the standard for the emoji keyboard, and everything else software and hardware related:
Around the world, 300 million women have their period right now. There are currently no emojis on the emoji keyboard that represent the important things in life, like our periods. There is no way to express ourselves in this new universal language.
We want to change that.
Millions of girls and women find it hard to talk about their periods, which can cause embarrassment, anxiety and lack of confidence. To tackle this head on, we at Bodyform are submitting a petition to Unicode (the consortium responsible for the emoji keyboard) to ask them to include our six new period emojis, or #Femojis, to break down period taboos and encourage people to express how they feel about periods.
We will submit our request to Unicode on 21st March and before we do, we need your help to show just how many people care about giving women a stronger voice through femojis.
Please sign our petition today, share it with your friends on social media using the hashtag #Femojis.
Thanks for your support!
Side note: Bodyform made headlines a few years ago for this cheeky response to Richard.