hot take on emoji skin tone modifiers and race (cw: second person)
Quick PSA for people who are white and have noticed that emoji have skin colors:
As accidental emoji expert Tom Scott said in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OPkGQoPeHk and probably elsewhere, "As anyone who's watched the Simpsons knows, yellow is not default neutral." Yellow emoji people like 🙋 are, at least for now, functionally white people. This is why, going one way, the Mutant Standard Emoji web demo defaults to medium gray - https://mutant.tech/demo/ - and why, going the other, Unicode added some skin tone modifiers: either emoji need to be a color that isn't coded white or we who aren't white need colors that are accurate to our skins. 🙋🏽♀️
They're for accuracy, not for decoration. They are a means for some of us (not all of us, but at least some of us) to own that we are marginalized for these traits and refuse to be erased. If you want to use skin tone modifiers to support us who need them, there are skin tones like yours - use those.
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