Zombies, Hijabs and Sandwiches: Apple Unveils Its New Emojis

Do we really need an emoji for throwing up? Whether we do or not, we’re getting one.

In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, it exists, and it was Monday), Apple — whose colorful and increasingly detailed palette of emojis has to some degree altered the way humans communicate — has shared a preview of 12 of its newest emojis. They include a woman with a head scarf, a breast-feeding woman, a vomiting face, a zombie and a sandwich (finally).

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Apple’s vomit emoji.

The full set will be released later this year with updates for various Apple operating systems.

Apple has steadily moved toward inclusivity and diversity in its emojis, enabling users in 2015 to change the skin tone of most of the human emojis. The head-scarf and breast-feeding emojis seem to be in line with this trend.

The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit entity charged with deciding which emojis will populate our phones, has a robust selection process that might surprise some users. The top factor is whether an emoji is needed for compatibility with high-use emojis in other platforms like Snapchat or Twitter.

Another major factor is the emoji’s expected level of use; it needs to be high worldwide or within a particular community of users. That is most likely one inspiration behind the hijab emoji, along with the efforts of a 15-year-old Saudi girl, Rayouf Alhumedhi. Her effort was supported by Alexis Ohanian, a Reddit founder.

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Apple’s head-scarf emoji.

Rayouf submitted an emoji proposal to the consortium. Anyone can submit an emoji proposal, and how often a particular emoji is requested is important to the consortium.

AJ+, Al Jazeera Media Network’s current events channel, posted a video of Rayouf on Twitter. In it, she explains why this emoji needed to exist.

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