New emojis are coming to iPhone, Android and Home windows … however one is already controversial

Get ready to express yourself in a whole new way – 102 new ways to be specific. So many fresh emojis will hit your smartphone, computer, and web browser later this year. On the occasion of World Emoji Day on July 17th, 2021, drafts of these brand new characters have been released and you can already vote for your favorite.

New emojis are usually revealed in March each year, but this latest batch has been delayed due to Covid. That said, the designers had a little longer to work on and it seems to have paid off in some unusual and unique designs. Voting for the World Emoji Awards is now open and you can vote for any of the new emojis in the “Most Awaited Emojis” category.

For some, the new use cases for the characters are pretty obvious. You can send a friendly handshake in 18 different skin tone variations, while a smart greeting emoji is perfect for those patriotic moments.

The cute “heart hands” icon is sure to become an instant favorite when it comes to sending support to loved ones. Another shows a face looking through its fingers – maybe it flinches at a horror movie or a car crash reality show. The shiny new disco ball is greeted by fans of ABBA and Eurovision. A troll character could be used to point out bad behavior on social media.

Others are a little more opaque. The “hand with eye” emoji is a “hamsa” symbol that is popular throughout the Middle East as an amulet to ward off the “evil eye”. We can’t see many uses for the X-ray, bean, or ring buoy emojis, although the melting smiley face will come in handy during heat waves.

Most controversial, however, were the characters “pregnant man” and “pregnant person”, which have already sparked debates on the Internet. One man said, despite its intended use, “I’ll just use it if I overeat.” Another joked, “This is the emoji you send your buddy after drinking and devouring a dirty kebab all evening.”

Others said it was a gesture of inclusion for the few hundred transgender men who give birth each year. “Trans men can get pregnant AND trans men are just as much a man as those born in the right body,” wrote a Twitter user.

Whether you love them or hate them, you will have to wait a little longer to use the new designs. For now, the emojis are just suggestions from Unicode, the organization that creates and manages all of the official emojis.

The final versions will be approved in September this year. And since every provider like Apple, Samsung, and Google can choose how they want the icons to appear, they might look a little different when you see them again.

In other emoji news, Microsoft has redesigned some old favorites for its Office range of products. Instead of a paper clip, users see a miniature clippy, the hated Windows 97 “virtual assistant”. which made a dramatic return this week. It also created more colorful 3D versions of the other emojis, like the unicorn and smiley faces, with quirky new expressions.

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