Did You Know: A Colombian Immigrant Helped Create Your Favorite Emojis For The U.S.

Technology has made so much impact in the world we live in. For example, the emoji is perhaps one of the most abundantly used creations of the past decade. From emails to texts to DMs, chances are you use emojis regularly in your everyday personal and private lives. Though they’re such a big influence on the modern world, we’ve never really wondered who created the humble emoji.

That is, until today.

Designer Angela Guzman recently sat down with NPR’s Maria Hinojosa to talk about her hand in the creation of emojis.

Twitter / @agzmn

Though she has made such a substantial mark on our culture, Guzman came from modest beginnings. She was born in Colombia but moved to Florida as a child. In the segment of “How I Made It,” Guzman explained the difficulty she had communicating while learning English as a child.

“When I moved from Bogatá to Miami, I did not speak a word of English,” she explained. “I remember entering my classroom full of kids and not being able to connect with anyone.”

Though this was difficult and isolating, Guzman used her natural talent to overcome.

Twitter / @amel_benmann

“What I ended up doing was actually relying on my drawings skills that I had developed before moving. And kind of communicating with my teachers and my classmates through pictures.”

This struggle would leave a big impression on Guzman. Of the experience, she says:

“I noticed immediately the power that an image can have on someone even though you don’t speak the same language.”

In the podcast, Guzman says that this experience is what encouraged her to pursue a career in graphic design.

Twitter / @agzmn

In 2008, while looking for internship opportunities, the Latina decided to apply with Apple, Inc. At the end of her internship, Guzman was hired by the company. However, one of her first projects was a daunting one.

She was assigned to help convert and redesign nearly 500 of the original Japanese emojis. The goal was to create images that would be more appealing and better customized to Western audiences.

Though Guzman’s experience made her a great asset for this project, there was still one problem: she had never heard of an emoji until then.

Twitter / @CNBC

“At the time, the word emoji was not super known,” she explained. “It’s a Japanese term and so I didn’t actually know what the word meant.”

When it was explained to her that the icons were meant to express feelings and emotions, Guzman totally understood. Even though the project was a large one with many entries, Guzman was thrilled to get to designing.

When it came time to start, Guzman chose to first draw an emoji that she felt an instant connection with.

Twitter / @IvelisseArroyo

“That’s why I started with the engagement ring,” Guzman confesses.

As an undergraduate, the designer had studied industrial design. She felt comfortable rendering metals because of this background. However, she felt more than a bit challenged when it came to the diamond.

Guzman was also inspired by real life items. As she explains in the podcast episode, she would visit the grocery store and examine fruit before rendering. The textures and details, she says, are what give the emojis their unique aesthetic.

In all, Guzman believes she and her mentor, Raymond Sepulveda, have left their personalities on the emojis they created.

Twitter / @unosyzeros

“For example, when [Raymond] made the happy poop swirl,” Guzman describes. “Pretty soon he created the icecream cone and plopped the swirl — the happy poop — into the cone.”

Creative rendering aside, it’s no doubt that this Colombiana’s work has made a cultural impact. Emojis are now used in phone games, sold as merchandise, have their own movie and have become an entire language of their own.

So, next time you send that eggplant emoji, spare a second to acknowledge the cultural significance of Angela Guzman and her emojis.

More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis

Things That Matter

More Than 100 New Emojis Are Dropping This Year, And Our Latinx Cultura Is Represented: Meet The Tamale And Piñata Emojis / Twitter

This weekend was special for more than just the Super Bowl, it was Día de la Candelaria (aka. Candlemas). And I don’t know about you, but I stuffed my face with tamales—as is mandatory. Why is that important? Because this weekend, we also found out that more than 100 emojis will be available on Apple this year —and one of them is an actual tamale. Is it a rajas tamale? Or is it filled with mole? We’re not too sure, but what we are sure of, it that a tamale emoji is coming and we can’t wait!

Emoji is the fastest growing language in history. 

Five billion emojis are sent every day, just on Facebook Messenger. And they’re appearing in some places you wouldn’t expect. One court judge in England used a smiley face emoji   in a document to make it easy to explain the court’s decision to children —an actual fact. So it should come as no surprise, that emoji consortiums have formed to keep updating the language and including more and more elements to it.

Starting in the second half of 2020, users can insert a tamale Emoji into any conversation.

Whether you’re including it in a text conversation about making tamales during the holidays, or simply emphasizing your craving for one of the best Latinx dishes around, the option will be there before you know it.

Emojipedia confirmed the introduction of over 100 new emojis this year.

According to Emojipedia, the emoji reference website —yes, it’s a thing—this year we’re getting 117 recently approved new emojis. From a gender inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, named Mx. Claus, to a fondue, a bell pepper and a piñata emoji. 

That’s right, Latinos are getting another emoji that illustrates our culture.

The Piñata emoji is coming in the shape of a Donkey—granted, it’s an old, clichéd reference, but hey, it’s iconic nonetheless. Get ready to dale dale dale because the paper maché burro will be available to add to your convos, this year. 

The Christmas icon is not the only gender-neutral addition, btw.

The new emojis will also include a woman in a tuxedo, a man in a bride veil and a gender-neutral person feeding a baby. All of these emojis are also available in all skin tones.

As reported by Emojipedia, the officially approved Emoji Version 13.0 list was published last week by the Unicode Consortium

And it features 117 new emoji that will be arriving on devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac later this year. Apple typically adds the new emoji with the next major operating system updates in the fall.

We’ll be getting a wide array of animals, household items and more foods in emoji form!

The list of new emojis also includes other foods like bubble tea and a flat bread, animals like a seal and a cockroach, and household items like a toothbrush.

The new emojis build on last year’s round of more inclusive icons. 

A hearing aid emoji, wheelchair emoji and seeing eye dog emoji were in 2019’s new batch. A gender-neutral couple and various combinations of people with different skin colors holding hands were also made available last year.

Back in February 2019, the Unicode Consortium unveiled 230 new emojis with a majority representing people with disabilities and their needs. 

They included hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and service dogs. It also included the option for interracial couples to mix and match skin tones.

New emojis are now added to the Unicode standard on an annual basis. 

These emojis are proposed by different companies like Google, Apple and Twitter, and finalized by the start of the year. This allows ample time for these platforms to include these in future updates.

The first emojis debuted in October 2010 

10 years ago, Unicode Consortium released 722 different designs, and the genre has come a long way since. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was an emoji–the Face With Tears of Joy one. There’s also a World Emoji Day celebrated annually on July 17.

A Man Ripped Into a Woman For Not Wanting To Buy Him Red Lobster and Twitter Had Some Thoughts


A Man Ripped Into a Woman For Not Wanting To Buy Him Red Lobster and Twitter Had Some Thoughts

Red Lobster

*WARNING* a derogatory term casually used by the Twitter user profiled in this piece is in the exact opposite of our views and values*

Recently, a thread by @RoblesTeonna made the popular casual dining chain restaurant Red Lobster start to trend on Twitter. After Robles shared a text exchange between her and a man she was dating on social media, her 2,500 followers took to Twitter to express their opinions on the bizarre saga.

It all started when Robles posted a screenshot of a shocking interaction she had with a man she was seeing. In the text exchange, Robles shares some photos of delicious-looking tacos with a mystery man, asking him if he wants any. “I know you’re craving Red Lobster,” she says in the text convo. “But I also don’t have much money after paying my bills and it would just be easier on me”.

Instead of being grateful for Teonna’s offer to bring him food, the unidentified man instead responds callously, telling her not to “ask me what I want to eat [and] then tell me to pick something else ever again”.

Robles, understandably upset over the man’s rude response, tells him that she doesn’t like the way he’s speaking to her. “I’m offering to get you food & going out of my way to do so,” she explains to him. She then further explains that if he wants to continue to treat her so poorly, she’ll no longer associate with him.

The man takes his reaction even further by telling her that she shouldn’t have been trying to “play a position” she wasn’t “fit for”. Presumably, he is talking about the fact that she offering to buy him food and then later told him she didn’t have enough money for what he was asking for. “You’re clearly not on my level,” he told her. “And can’t afford to support a man of my caliber”. 

Needless to say, Teonna’s Twitter users had some strong opinions over this man’s entitled behavior. 

@RoblesTeonna’s post quickly went viral, racking up almost 37,000 likes, over 4,000 comments and over 8,000 retweets. Not only were her followers shocked by his surprising reaction to not getting Red Lobster, they were also shocked by his insistence that the woman he dates should “support” him–especially when that woman makes it clear that she’s short on cash due to paying her own bills. 

Although there is a pervasive belief that women resort to “hustling” men for dates in order to get free meals, the situation proves that the attitude of entitlement goes both ways. There are a myriad of different ways people of all genders use others to fulfill their own agendas. People were quick to point out this man’s hypocrisy with comments like, “Imagine demanding from someone else, what you can’t even provide yourself. Humans are exhausting”.

After @RoblesTeonna’s account of her experience with this man, the man decided to tell his side of the story. Spoiler alert: he does not come off as a hero.

After being contacted by someone via Facebook to address the situation, the man (who is identified as “Shawn”) explains that he and Teonna were not dating, although she “wanted to claim [him] as her man”. According to Shawn, he was not yet interested in Teonna, because “she’s not the only woman trying to impress [him]” and he “cannot just sit and give any woman a relationship with [him]”.

Thankfully, the entire internet had Teonna’s back enough to publicly explain the multiple reason why she’s better than this low-life man.

Contrary to what “Shawn” believes about himself, any person who treats another person like this (regardless of gender) is not worth the time of day. Periodt.

This person made a valid point about how this man was whining about something he could have easily provided for himself.

It’s obvious that this man doesn’t have the ability to provide for himself, so he relies on the women in his life to fill that need.

A lot of people were pointing out the absurdity of thinking that Red Lobster is the peak of American fine dining. 

It’s not like Red Lobster is some Michelin-rated gourmet food. It’s pretty much “Applebee’s Of the Sea”.

This person perfectly pointed out the hypocrisy of Shawn’s argument.

Presumably, a person of “high caliber” wouldn’t need to be supported, because they would have the resources to support themselves.

Even the reigning Queen of Twitter, Chrissy Teigen, got in on the fun:

Finally, a voice of reason among all this nonsense.