Period emoji created to help girls talk about menstruation

Organizers hope the symbol will end the stigma, silence and “shame" around periods.

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/ Source: TODAY
By A. Pawlowski

Emojis have become a language of their own, helping people express all sorts of moods and life experiences. Now, there’s a “period emoji” coming soon to your phone’s keyboard.

The Unicode Consortium — the group governing emoji standards across platforms — has approved 59 new emoji designs, including a drop of blood that girls’ advocates created to represent menstruation.

Plan International UK, a children’s charity that led the push for a period emoji, hopes the symbol will end the “shame around periods” by helping girls open up about their monthly cycle.

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“The inclusion of an emoji which can express what 800 million women around the world are experiencing every month is a huge step towards normalizing periods and smashing the stigma which surrounds them,” said Lucy Russell, Head of Girls' Rights and Youth at Plan International UK, in a statement.

“For years we’ve obsessively silenced and euphemized periods… girls feel embarrassed to talk about their periods, they’re missing out, and they can suffer health implications as a consequence.

“An emoji isn’t going to solve this, but it can help change the conversation.”

Two thirds of women don’t feel comfortable discussing their period with their father or male friends; and more than one in 10 women don’t feel comfortable talking about it with their female friends, a survey conducted by the charity found.

Plan International UK initially created five designs for the emoji in 2017 and asked the public to vote on them.

The winner — dubbed “period pants” — was submitted to the Unicode Consortium for approval, but it was not accepted.

Plan International UK then teamed up with NHS Blood and Transplant to create the blood drop emoji, which is the design coming to your phone next month.

The reviews have been mixed, with some people noting the emoji looks more like a blood donor symbol than something that represents a period. Others are praising the design and the message behind it.

The code for all the new emojis will be released in March.