We live in a society that is increasingly reliant on social media for everything from self-validation to dating, and when engrossed in the digital realm, it's nearly impossible not to use emojis. The cute, colourful little icons are everywhere — but how many of them represent a strong woman?
You can probably count that number on one hand, because the majority of women are shown as princesses, brides or dancers or painting their nails, and that's what Procter & Gamble's sanitary product brand Always wants to change with the latest installment of their inspiring #LikeAGirl campaign.
"Girls send over a billion emojis every day, but do emojis represent them?" Always asks.
The brand then asks a group of teens if the emojis they use on a daily basis adequately reflect them. The responses are eye-opening and include comments like "They're pink or a girl" and "There's no girls in the professional emojis unless you count being a bride a profession."
Ultimately, the teens' responses prove that the currently available emojis do not represent them and tend to focus on female stereotypes rather than reflecting the reality of what it is to be a young woman in 2016.
We need more. We need emojis that inspire, that empower and that show women as more than superficial, face-value icons.
At puberty, a girl's confidence plummets. The video asks what society is saying when it limits female emojis to stereotypes.
"I want every girl to grow up knowing that she's capable of everything," one of the teens states.
"Our vision is that when a girl picks up the phone, in a couple of months, she'll have an array of options that represent professions and sports and activities that girls do," said Michele Baeten, global associate brand director for Always, Mashable reports. "Their only choices shouldn't be pink and manicures and hair."
The brand hopes to create awareness, which in turn could spark change.
"This is a modern language, it's not hieroglyphics," Baeten said. "We're tackling the subtle biases and we're trying to say, 'Dear society, we need to become more aware.' We want to make the change."
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