clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You can now use black princess and Asian Santa emoji

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

Update: Apple's update went live on April 8. The emoji are now available.

Original Post:

For a long time, people of all shapes, sizes, and colors could only express themselves via emoji of white people.

That will change on Apple devices in April, when iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 are reportedly being rolled out. These leaked pictures were sent by a tipster to the Next Web:

Emoji! (Apple)

Our dreams of a black princess, Asian Santa Claus, and all manner of diverse emoji are soon going to be a reality:

More Emoji! (Apple)

What's sort of strange are the jaundiced emoji (that Santa on the far left). They look a bit alarming. But according to Unicode Consortium, the organization in charge of standardizing emoji, the yellow emoji are the standard emoji. Once you click on them, you will then be able to pick the skin color of the emoji you want:


Representation, even if it's in something as seemingly trivial as emoji, matters. And it's cool to see people coming around to this. In addition to emoji skin swatches, there are also going to be more flags available in the update:


Despite this progress, there are still ways emoji could be more inclusive. One Vox staffer pointed out that there still isn't an emoji for redheads, and all the emoji with jobs (hard hat and policeman) are men.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.