Yesterday, Apple released a preview of the new iOS 10.2 to developers. (I am not a developer.) As Emojipedia reported, the new iOS involves the adoption of Unicode Version 9.0, and there are 72 additions to the canon, including the avocado, the cucumber, a croissant, bacon, and my personal favorite, “shallow pan of food.”
It’s also re-rendered the emojis in its existing arsenal, this new aesthetic gravitating towards a more bulbous photorealism. This all seemed fine and uneventful; I do not much care for these updates, because I often resist updating my phone until it begins to lose its basic faculties. But then I got a load of this, and, oh, baby:
There it is: the peach, its crease obscured due to its newer angling. And look at those retweets. Wow—that’s quite a lot of “netizens” who seem agree with this man.
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For those unfamiliar, a primer: This man above believes our digital vernacular has been bludgeoned due to the whims of the Unicode Consortium, who’s decided to redraw an emoji known in many circles as “Bottom Emoji” and “Butt Emoji.” "Peach and eggplant emoji rarely refer to produce,” Caitlin Dewey of the Washington Post once observed, a nod to the violet aubergine that doubles as code for male genitalia.
After watching this tweet "go viral,” I feared that I would have to write Food52’s peach emoji post today. I even pitched it to my editor as such, and began to gear up to write my paean for the fallen peach emoji. And then I looked a little closer.
As I have argued before, people tend to be extremely dramatic online, as evinced by the strapping engagement numbers on that initial Twitter observation and resultant "takes" online. This is the kind of news that no doubt results in parodic headlines: “People are freaking out about the new peach emoji!” Look: “The peach emoji no longer looks like an arse,” declared Ireland’s The Daily Edge, “and people are devastated.” Are they? Hmmm. “The peach on Unicode's updated emoji keyboard now much less bootylicious,” SFGateclaimed.“Emergency: Apple’s New Peach Emoji Doesn’t Look Like a Butt,” New York Magazine’s Select All wrote. I suspect that we are nearing a digital media epidemic today.
The peach emoji will be redrawn to look less like a butt, while the eggplant still insists it would "tap that." pic.twitter.com/44C0f9OAu4
Twitter provides the kind of distortion that mild displeasure signals widespread consensus. But a great number of thinkers throughout history have stated the mighty obvious in declaring that images are “open to interpretation,” and I believe this applies to emoji, too. My interpretation? The new peach emoji looks like a peach and also a backside. Some are threatening a boycott, or believe that this redesign renders them incapable of using this emoji to connote sly, coital leanings. Whatever. I will still use it anyway.
Do you like or dislike the new peach emoji? Let us know in the comments!
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.