It is my most overused emoji - the round yellow face, eyes squinting, mouth wide like a letterbox with teeth pushed together in an ‘awkward' expression. I use it every day, sometimes several times, to express embarrassment, stress and pain, as well as awkward moments, when no other emoji will do; He has to work hard, that little round-faced emoji - no wonder he's stressed.
But he got me thinking that women and girls need more emojis on the keyboard that relate to our lives. Yes, it seems my keyboard is embarrassed to address the fact that I want to tell my friend I’m feeling bloated thanks to my period, or I have a banging headache because it’s ‘that time of the month’. After all, 79 per cent of us mums and girls now use emojis to express our inner most feelings to our friends, and 45 per cent of girls find it difficult to talk to their own family about periods.
Enter the Femoji petition, an important initiative spearheaded by makers of Bodyform and other sanitary products, to introduce some new period emojis to the unicode keyboard so that we can use the global emoji language to talk about our periods without embarrassment – or being confined to using a little round-faced 'awkward' symbol to express our feelings to do with being a woman.
Need a hot water bottle this evening? Feeling spotty? Keep snapping at your man thanks to PMS? So do millions of other women and girls, right now, every single day – periods happen to half the word’s population every month, after all.
So I am proud to sign the Change.org petition to get Femojis onto our keyboards and into our lives, and I hope you might consider doing so too. It takes two minutes and you can do it here: change.org/femojis-uk
Let’s give the little yellow awkward face a break.
(Data was collected via an online survey commissioned in the UK in January 2016, n = 1,003 (split by 503 girls aged 12–14 years old and 500 mums of girls aged 12–14 years old)