Whether it's a woman in pink getting her hair cut, a bride or a flamenco dancer, female emojis are leave a lot to be desired when it comes to pushing gender boundaries.
That's why a group of young women are calling for emojis to step out of the dark ages and offer progressive emojis that reflect the changing nature of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.
Almost half (48%) of 16-24 year old girls believe that female emojis are stereotypical and two in five (42%) find emojis to be a limited representation of females’ interests, according to a recent survey conducted by Always as part of the #LikeAGirl campaign.
Nearly three quarters (70%) of girls believe they should not only be portrayed doing typically feminine activities such as getting their hair cut or manicures, while the same proportion would like to see female emojis portrayed more progressively, including athletes, police and wrestlers.
Emojis have been described as the first truly global language and, with more than seven in ten (71%) of girls using emojis multiple times a day and 82% using them on a daily basis, the potential impact of emoji gender bias is startling.
The findings have been presented as part of Always' new ad campaign, which builds on the hugely successful award-winning campaign of 2014.
"Girls love emojis but there aren't enough emojis to say what they do," shrugs one girl.
"There's no girls in the profession emojis, unless you count being a bride as a profession," says one.
"They're all mainly pink," says another.
Always teamed up with ward-winning documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker of Pulse Films to create the film.
She said in a statement: "Society has a tendency to send subtle messages that can limit girls to stereotypes. As someone who has studied sociolinguistics, I know the kind of impact even seemingly innocuous language choices can have on girls. It was so interesting to hear these girls talk about emojis and realise how the options available to them are subtly reinforcing the societal stereotypes and limitations they face every day."
The findings form part of the Always Confidence and Puberty survey conducted using Research Now Panels that surveyed a total of 1,002 females in the UK. There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,002 females aged 16 to 24 year old. The survey was implemented between the dates of January 13, 2016 through January 25, 2016.
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