I was scrolling through some emoji when I was texting picking something to send.
Now, first off, you need to know that at least Apple has a high bar for fairness in their emoji selection. Almost all emoji, where appropriate, have male and female variants. Some even have gender neutral options as well. This is a good thing of course.
The interesting thing is that some of the differences between the male and female variants, especially for the sporting category, are only very, very subtlely different.
Take wresting, for instance:
Other than the ponytail for the hair (and a teensy bit of side-boob), they are the same thing — even the hand positions are identical pixel for pixel. Ok, the girls have a bit better posture and less hunch. Oh, and around 6 pixels of lipstick on the blue-green singlet competitor.
Blown up this big you can see the pixel-level differences. (This is on an iPhone X cropped all the way in from the large text emoji) On screen, without the zoom like this, the differences are invisible. Certainly, the small in-line emoji are indistinguishable.
In some ways this just strikes me as checking off a box; yes, we have female versions, but it’s not really different from the male version in any way that you can see without drastic zoom like you’re seeing here. I’m not 100% sure how to feel about this. Another few are the weight lifting, rowing, and gymnastics emoji. Other than a ponytail (not even that in rowing) they are identical. Compare that to skiing and snowboarding where there aren’t male and female versions. Why one, but not the other?