Always Takes on 'Girly' Pink Emojis in Latest Attempt to Fight Stereotypes

New #LikeaGirl Film Examines Shocking Lack of Empowering Emoji Options

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The awards-busting Always #LikeaGirl campaign returns to fight more stereotypes, this time taking on a subject beloved to the hearts of many teenage girls -- emojis.

A new video, filmed by documentary maker Lucy Walker of Pulse Films for Leo Burnett Chicago, uses interviews with teenagers to point out that most emojis featuirng girls are pink, "girly" and concerned with beauty or hairstyles. Shockingly, none of the "profession" emojis feature women, except, as one girl points out with horror, if a bride could be counted as a profession.

It's a clever move by Always that should open up a real debate -- you get the impression that most of the girls interviewed haven't really thought about this much before, but once they're asked to look closer at emojis, they're outraged.

Always also commissioned a survey that shows that more than half of girls (54%) feel that female emojis are stereotypical, and 75% of girls would like to see female emojis portrayed more progressively, including professional female emoji options. The brand is asking girls to talk about what emojis they would like to see on social media, using the #LikeaGirl hashtag.

"The girls in emojis only wear pink, are princesses or dancing bunnies, do their nails and their hair, and that's about it. No other activities, no sports, no jobs… the realization is shocking," said Michele Baeten, Associate Brand Director and lead Always #LikeAGirl leader at Procter & Gamble. "Of course, societal limitations are broader than just emojis, but when we realized that stereotypical, limiting messages are hiding in places as innocent as emojis, it motivated us to demand change."

Director Lucy Walker added in a statement: "Society has a tendency to send subtle messages that can limit girls to stereotypes. As someone who has studied sociolinguistics, I know the kind of impact even seemingly innocuous language choices can have on girls. It was so interesting to hear these girls talk about emojis and realize how the options available to them are subtly reinforcing the societal stereotypes and limitations they face every day."

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Mar 02, 2016
Leo Burnett Chicago
Nancy Hannon
Natalie Taylor
Isabela Ferreira
Art Director:
Jin Yoo
Art Director:
Amanda Mearsheimer
Garrett Vernon
Executive Account Director:
Annette Sally
Account Director:
Katie Nikolaus
Account Supervisor:
Sarah Kaminsky
Assistant Account Executive:
Susanne Sward
Tony Wallace
Adine Becker
Andrea Friedrich
Production Company:
Pulse Films
Lucy Walker
Angelo Valencia
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