With the stigma associated with periods, it becomes an uphill task to start conversations around it. Now, we have an emoji for periods. Yes, you read it right! There is soon going to be an emoji which would sum up all that that we go through in period days. It would go a long way in removing the stigma around menstruation and open up a dialogue. It indeed is a great step to help normalise periods in everyday conversations.
In Emoji 12.0 updates, which recently got finalised, there are 59 new emojis and other 171 variants for skin tone and gender, making it a total of 230 emojis being finalised for the release.
But it is the ‘period emoji’ that particularly stands out. Unlike the sanitary napkin ads depicted with blue liquid, the period emoji is unapologetically red. It is shaped like a drop, a red drop!
It comes after more than 55,000 people called for a period emoji to be added to the global emoji keyboard last year, in a campaign led by global girls’ rights charity Plan International UK, to help break down the stigma and taboo surrounding periods.
Lucy Russell, Head of Girls’ Rights and Youth at Plan International UK, said:
“The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalising periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them.”
“For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemised periods. As experts in girls’ rights, we know that this has a negative impact on girls; girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they’re missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence.”
“An emoji isn’t going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation. Ending the shame around periods begins with talking about it.”
Carmen Barlow, Digital Strategy and Development Manager at Plan International UK, said,
“For an organisation like Unicode to recognise that menstruation should be represented in this new global language is a huge step towards breaking down a global culture of shame around periods.”