Huge diversity is coming in the emoji world. Very soon, a proposed change to the Unicode standard is going to allow full emoji customization, letting you change the hair color or even the gender of an emoji.
Named UTS 52, the update would allow for major emoji customization for the first time. Albeit previous changes have allowed it to change the skin color of an emoji, this new update could affect more emoji in different ways being a more widespread change.
The proposal outlines a number of customization, including editing flags to represent regions or country, hair color, gender, and even the direction of an emoji. For instance, you could change a dark haired female emoji to a blond male emoji, or change the direction of a bicyclist.
“The basic idea is like that of skin tone modifiers,” the developers write. “Internally that emoji consists of a base emoji followed by a skin-tone modifier that indicates that the base emoji should be olive-skinned. The olive-skinned emoji looks like a single character to the user, and behaves as a single emoji character in display, line break, and other processing.”
The update hasn’t come yet. It’s in the proposal phase and the Unicode Consortium is looking forward to feedback from emoji implementers, such as Google and Apple. There is also a separate proposal to introduce a change, which would allow an emoji to be displayed in black and white.