Tuesday, Tinder announced its new #RepresentLove campaign to raise awareness for something lacking in the emoji library: interracial couples. While emojis have become increasingly representative of our culture — adding same-sex and single-parent families, offering different skin tones, replacing the realistic-looking pistol with a water gun — there are always ways they can improve and it usually starts with people calling out what’s missing. Tinder has started a change.org petition to get Unicode (the emoji gods) to design and add interracial couple emojis.
“Why is Tinder involved?” reads the petition, “We believe all love deserves emoji representation. But that’s not all — research shows that online dating and interracial relationships go hand in hand. In fact, a recent study suggested that Tinder, and the resulting increased popularity of dating apps, may be responsible for an increase in interracial marriages.”
It’s true. According to a study released by the company, use of dating apps is encouraging people to make connections outside of their own social circles leading to a rise in interracial dating and marriages. How cool is that?
Tinder is teaming up with Reddit co-founder and husband of Serena Williams Alexis Ohanian, who was also key in the campaign to get a hijab-wearing emoji in 2016.
“We want our kids to have emojis that look like their parents,” he told Wired, “[Emoji] are the universal language of the internet and should reflect the modern world where interracial relationships are normal.”
How exactly does one get an emoji made? Well, even if you happen to be an international corporation, you need to submit a petition to the Unicode Consortium that explains why you (and a whole lot of other people) think your emoji needs to be added. Once the emoji (or group of emojis, in this case) is approved, it could take up to two years to design it and standardize it across all computing platforms. A long process, but worth it.
In the meantime, Tinder is encouraging people to sign the petition and tweet their promotional video. They are also running a contest where interracial couples have a chance to win an emoji depiction of themselves by tweeting a photo, tagging Tinder and using #RepresentLove.