Pregnant man emoji confirmed for smartphones – but some people are ‘confused’

838 new emojis are set to appear on our keyboards this month, including a pregnant man, a melting face, multiracial handshakes, and beans.

The Unicode Consortium, i.e. the people in charge of the emoji keyboard, have finalised a new roster of characters to help the world express itself when words just aren't enough.

First announced in July, the addition of a 'pregnant man' and 'pregnant person' emoji sparked controversy, but Emojipedia has insisted that Unicode wants to be as inclusive as possible given the global usage of emojis and the fact that every emoji has a gender neutral variant. It also said the emoji could have other uses, such as a way to convey a 'food baby'.

"These emojis have been approved to make the emoji keyboard more consistent and gender inclusive, in line with the same steps we saw for other emojis in recent years," wrote Jane Soloman, a Senior Emoji Lexicographer.

She continued: "Naming conventions aside, men can be pregnant. This applies to the real world (e.g. trans men) and to fictional universes (e.g. Arnold Schwarznegger in Junior and Lil Nas X's promotional materials for his album 'Montero'.) People of any gender can be pregnant too. Now there are emojis to represent this."

The addition of the new emoji has had a mixed reaction on Twitter. While some have shared their confusion, others have questioned its usefulness. "I could probably count on one hand the number of people who asked for a pregnant man emoji," said TokyoDrifter. "I'm not trying to hate on trans people or anything, I'm just wondering [who] is gonna use that?!".

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Some criticised the negative reactions, arguing it doesn't really matter. "The discourse over the pregnant man emoji is hilarious," wrote Twitter user Evelyn Seeker. "A bunch of adult toddlers crying over something that doesn't affect them at all and probably never will."

Another user, Becky Self, applauded it as "mainstream recognition that it's not just women that get pregnant."

Others said they were excited to use the pregnant man emoji when they've eaten too much. Jack R wrote "Finally, I can use the pregnant man emoji for when I'm super full and bloated."

The emoji update will also add new skintones to existing emojis, such as handshakes. Some more unusual additions include a troll, a melting face, a bird's nest, and for those steamier messages, a bitten lip.

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