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This article was published on March 4, 2016

The tampon industry is having an emoji crisis

The tampon industry is having an emoji crisis
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

There’s definitely something going down in feminine hygiene land this week.

First, Always releases a slightly sad video featuring a group of American teenagers being forced to slowly realize on camera that the only female emoji in the ‘workers’ category is a bride.

“Unless you count a bride as a profession,” one of them says. Hey, if you count everything that happens afterward, it probably is. But you’re unlikely, under typical circumstances, to actually get paid for it.

Then, in what looks like a wonderful act of solidarity with its rival firm, Bodyform has now launched a petition calling on the Unicode Consortium to think about adding some femojis, with some helpful suggestions.

Bodyform period emojis
Credit: Bodyform

“Millions of girls and women find it hard to talk about their periods, which can cause embarrassment, anxiety and lack of confidence,” the company explains.

“To tackle this head on, we at Bodyform are submitting a petition to Unicode (the consortium responsible for the emoji keyboard) to ask them to include our six new period emojis, or #Femojis, to break down period taboos and encourage people to express how they feel about periods.”

Unfortunately, they’re pink, pink and more pink, which really undermines the message Always was trying to get across with its little video ad.

As ever, I’m not entirely convinced emojis are the best way to make a political or cultural point, but then again, people bloody (sorry) love them and it’s not like politicians are making the greatest headway on that gender equality thing.

You’ll also be excited to learn that I’m actually a Mooncup user, because they’re better for the environment and better for you.

Nice try Always and Bodyform, but the emojis won’t save you. Your days are numbered.