Why I stopped using the yellow- and the two palest-shade emojis, and why you should too.

Cover image courtesy of the Washington Post
  • the angel emoji: Christian connotations
  • the fake-moustache-and-glasses emoji: transphobic as the fake moustache is framed as something humorous, when transgender individuals might use them quite seriously to better express their gender identity
  • the hand-over-the-mouth emoji: makes light of violent domestic abuse, where non-cis men may have been forcedly silenced by their oppressors
  • the puking emoji: does not contain a trigger warning, so it may be upsetting for individuals with emetophobia
  • the alt-right hand symbol: maybe it still meant “okay” or “this is good” when Apple created their emoji keyboard, but we all know what it means nowadays
  • the prayer emoji: further Christian connotations
  • the three different police emojis: yep! Not just one, but THREE. Seriously Apple, do better.
  • the David Bowie Aladdin Sane makeup-inspired emoji: David Bowie literally raped a thirteen year old, and this emoji glamorizes this abusive (and overrated) predator
  • the ninja emoji: could be used to play into harmful stereotypes about AAPI individuals. Especially *shudder*, the yellow variant of the ninja emoji.
  • the wardrobe section lacks articles of clothing which might be seen in a drag queen’s closet
  • the fire and peach emojis: constantly used to objectify femme-aligned individuals
  • the food section features some, but not enough, examples of culturally significant foods
  • only four global currencies of hundreds have their own emojis
  • the flag emojis might promote nationalism



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a. j. morgan-kelly

whxte settler on unseded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory//grsj major + soci minor//decolonize + resist//BLM//ze/zir and fae/faeself//queer enby