Hello fellow humans.
This week I was arrested by a simple thought: are skin-tone emojis unnecessarily divisive?
What’s the point of differentiating skin tones when there is one that is so yellow it couldn’t possibly be an accurate representation of a person?
If The Simpsons characters are yellow are very much made in white America, and people love The Simpsons for what it is—a satire of everyday life—why should emojis need to be skin-tone accurate?
When I googled why The Simpsons characters are yellow, I was half hoping that he chose yellow so that we could focus on the characters being human rather than being of a certain ethnicity. Some in-your-face social commentary from 1989. Nope.
Here’s the actual reason from the show creator Matt Groening in an interview with BBC: “When you’re flicking through channels with your remote control, and a flash of yellow goes by, you’ll know you’re watching The Simpsons.” In other words, just marketing.
Still, I always find myself uneasy when, for example, a message on Slack has yellow thumbs up and white thumbs-up reactions. Diversity is important, but in my opinion, this is not an area to show it. I know I will be happier to live in a world where we’re all cappuccino people, where the colour of our skin is not part of the equation because we share the same one.
Thanks for reading this. As usual, links below. Have a good weekend!
What I was surprised by (short video) — If you have a few minutes and want to be moved, watch Courtney Hadwin’s performance on America’s Got Talent. My jaw dropped watching her go from shy teenager to rockstar when the music came on.
What I enjoyed watching — Anna (2019) (link to trailer), is an underrated film by director Luc Besson that follows the life of a Russian spy who just wants to not be enslaved by bad boyfriends or governments. Action-packed, sexy, and full of plot twists. I watched it with my wife and I think it’s one of my favourite spy movies at the moment.
What I published on the blog — Stop saying ‘I hope’. I take back my words whenever I find myself saying “I hope” in a conversation with someone because, well, saying it doesn’t do anything. Recognising something for what it is is more helpful. Doing something about it? That’s the best.