Bloody great emoji coming to phones
A tiny drop of blood is expected to create some big and heavy conversations after it was announced a 'period emoji' would be coming to smartphone keyboards.
The emoji is being rolled out in coming months, thanks to UK girls' rights group Plan International.
The group have succeeded in their #PeriodEmoji social media campaign to get the special emoji.
Its goal is to help cut the shame and stigma that girls and women face when talking about their period.
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," Head of Girls Rights at Plan International, Lucy Russell, said.
"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."
Unicode, the California group who manage emojis, has confirmed the bloody great addition will be added to keyboards as early as March 2019.
More than 55,000 people supported calls for the emoji to be added to the global keyboard.
Plan International said research shows a clear need for more open conversation about menstruation.
A survey of women aged 18-34 found half (47 per cent) believed a period emoji would make it easier for them to talk about their periods with female friends and partners.
The girls' rights group and NHS Blood and Transplant came up with the design.
The group's first design attempt - an image of 'period pants' was rejected.
"Emojis play a crucial role in our digital and emotional vocabulary, transcending cultural and country barriers. A period emoji can help normalise periods in everyday conversation," Carmen Barlow, a digital strategist for Plan International 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."
The reaction to the rollout of the new emoji has seen a mixed reaction on social media.
While most are supportive of the tiny droplet, some are cringing at the thought of it being on their keyboard.
Fortunately unused emojis tend to hide in the abyss of phones when they're not used, so those who aren't a fan won't see it much unless they go looking.
RED BY NUMBERS
- Forty per cent of UK girls have used a toilet roll instead of pads of tampons because they cant afford them
- Forty-eight per cent of UK girls (14-21) say they are embarrassed by their periods
- Almost 70 per cent claimed they have been refused a toilet break during school time to check their period
(Statistics from Plan International 2017 survey)