in 2017, you'll be able to send hijab and breastfeeding emoji

Plus: a pretzel, a girl chilling in a sauna, and a rockclimber.

by Isabelle Hellyer
14 November 2016, 2:52pm

Image via the Unicode Consortium

Yesterday afternoon the Unicode Consortium's Emoji Committee (incredibly, an actual profession for some lucky people) approved 56 new emojis as part of its forthcoming Unicode 10 release. The consortium is a non-profit organization behind literally all the emoji you use, regardless of what smartphone you have. The Consortium receives countless proposals for new emoji year-round, approves a few at every meeting, and then encodes its choices. After that, each software company draws up their own interpretations of the emoji and puts into your keyboard the next time you update your OS — Google does Android, Apple does iOS, and so-on.

Some of those 56 newly-approved emoji really stand out. There's a hijab and a headscarf emoji, plus a woman breastfeeding. We can thank 15-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi for the hijab emoji; the German teen proposed it to Unicode after realizing there was no emoji that represented her. We're also in for a pretzel, a UFO, a vampire, a sandwich, and a pair of socks.

This new Unicode 10 update doesn't come out until the middle of next year, so we've got a few more months to wait. Don't get down, though — in the coming weeks, Apple is set to add some of the emoji from the previous Unicode 9 release. We'll get a black heart (very goth), a clown, and a shakka.


Text Isabelle Hellyer

the unicode consortium