These Progressive Emojis Are Making History by Joining the Smithsonian’s Digital Collection

Emojis of interracial couples from Tinder

Emojis have officially solidified their place in history.

Emojination, a group that advocates for more inclusive and representative emojis, announced on Thursday that its interracial couple emojis and hijab emoji have been acquired by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as a part of their expanding digital collection.

The famous (and now, historical) emojis were made thanks to Tinder’s petition to create emojis that better reflected its real-life couples back in 2017. The petition earned 52,000 signatures over the course of a year. The set of emojis, designed by Katrina Parrott, officially became available to mobile devices in 2019. The hijab emoji (also called “person with a scarf”) was submitted to the Unicode Consortium in 2016 and was created by Rayouf Alhumedhi.

“Our #RepresentLove victory marked a major milestone that pushed for a more accurate reflection of relationships and the world,” said Maris Bodell, VP Creative at Tinder in a statement. “To have that movement recognized by the Smithsonian Institution… you can’t get much bigger than that!”

“These are the first emoji acquired into the museum’s burgeoning digital collection and represent continued improvements in emoji’s vocabulary, demonstrating the growth of inclusion and representation among users, couples, and communities in thoughtfully designed pictographs,” said Andrea Lipps, Associate Curator of Contemporary Design at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in a statement.

The emoji acquisition will be used by Cooper Hewitt for exhibitions as well as archival and educational purposes.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.

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