A ten-year-old boy from England has called upon the tech empire Apple to reform its “nerd face” emoji, arguing that it offensively represents those who wear glasses.
The boy, named Teddy, called the emoji “offensive and insulting” by way of its presentation of the front teeth, which he referred to as “horrible rabbit teeth.”
“We want to change this – Apple is making it absolutely horrible for people wearing glasses,” he told the BBC.
According to the New York Post, Teddy’s campaign “gained momentum after he shared his concerns with his teacher, Lisa, who helped him launch a petition both within the school and online.”
Teddy even created a whole new emoji called the “genius emoji, which features a thinner set of glasses and a small smiley face. He hopes that Apple will ultimately replace the nerd face emoji with his new design, believing it will dispel certain myths about people who wear glasses.
“If Apple took my ideas on board, it would feel amazing, and I’d be so excited,” he told the BBC.
Should Apple follow Teddy’s orders, it would not be the first time that the tech giant updated its emoji collection. Per the New York Post:
During the Covid pandemic, Apple unveiled a small change to its syringe emoji that removed the drops of blood to be less graphic amid the vaccine rollout.
Revealed in the Apple iOS 14.5 beta, the update also added the ability for both women and men to have beards.
And those who updated their iPhone in 2016 would recall Apple changing its realistic-looking gun or pistol emoji in iOS 9.3 to a bright green toy water gun in the iOS 10 beta.
This also does not mark the first time that emojis have been cited as an example of social persecution. Just last year, in 2022, NPR argued that skin color emojis perpetuate or enforce racism.
“In 2015, five skin tone options became available for hand gesture emojis, in addition to the default Simpsons-like yellow,” NPR argued. “Choosing one can be a simple texting shortcut for some, but for others, it opens a complex conversation about race and identity.”
Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.