In September of 2015, Bitmoji laudably commemorated the 20th anniversary of a landmark speech given before a UN conference in Beijing in 1995 by Hillary Clinton. The sentiment behind the speech’s repeated refrain date back to proto-feminist South Carolinian Sarah Moore Grimké, who wrote in the 1830s “I know nothing of man’s rights, or woman’s rights; human rights are all that I recognize.” Sadly, that bitmoji has since been retired, and nothing like it has come along in its place in the years since. This year International Women’s Day happens to coincide with Newmoji Friday. While none of this week’s newmojis directly address what is now celebrated as a national holiday in 27 countries around the world, a couple of them do seem tailored to the day. Let’s see how they rate:
Though first used as the title of a feminist zine created by US punk band Bikini Kill in 1991, the phrase “Girl Power” was co-opted and made famous five years later by UK pop act The Spice Girls. As such it has been both criticized as a cynical commodification of feminism (though considered a “girl group”, the act was put together by three wealthy white males who chose its members from over 400 women who auditioned), and celebrated for bringing the idea of female empowerment to a young audience worldwide. Mixed feeling about the slogan aside, my first thought when I saw this bitmoji was “this looks just like the ‘Prom?’ bitmoji from last week” with its exact same font, similar colors, and gratuitous sparkles. Like several recent releases, it smacks of a generally low level of effort being put into newmojis of late.
Get It Sis!
While you’d have to be living under a rock to be unfamiliar with the phrase “Girl Power”—it was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2001—I was wholly unfamiliar with “Get It Sis!” I’m guessing the same true for a lot of us, because even typing out all but the last letter in the Google searchbar failed to autocomplete the full phrase. What few uses of it on Twitter that were returned as matches gave the strong impression that its meaning, as you might guess, is pretty equivalent to the more commonly-used “You go, girl!” I’m unclear if the depiction of the avatar snapping their fingers reflects real-life usage or not, but anyhow I guess if you’ve been waiting for a slightly different way to say “You go, girl!” with the same finger-snapping avatar but a less glittery and fabulous font, today is your day.
I’m on the Fence
Let me just say that as a chronically indecisive person, I’m happy to see a new bitmoji available for me to express my all-too-common difficulty making up my mind. But how—HOW I ask—could the art for this bitmoji fail to depict the avatar literally balanced on top of a fence? What the heck, yo? This seems like bitmoji-making 101. Even if—as it sadly seems—the bitmoji artists just aren’t particularly willing or able to put in the effort needed to create new art in recent weeks, there are perfectly serviceable fences from older bitmojis that could have been re-used here! Sigh…
It Be Like That Sometimes
Sometimes a popular slang phrase gets turned into a bitmoji after being in widespread use for more than a dozen years, and sometimes it’s created in a way that is not particularly inspiring (nor awful) in its font or art. And sometimes such bitmojis get rated a 5. It is what it is.
An otherwise uniformly disappointing batch of new bitmojis this week is only partially redeemed by this very cute and likeable newmoji, kindly offered to us in two variant forms so that even people who don’t habitually stay up late into the wee hours of morning can still enjoy the pleasures of seeing their avatar selves as an owl with a human face. My only nit here is that with its eyes closed, the owl gives the impression of being asleep rather than nocturnally alert. Speaking of fearsome bird predators, my grandfather once told me a story about when he was young and stupid and took his BB rifle into the woods. Perched on tree branch ahead, he spotted a big ‘ol owl. He silently moved himself closer, then raised up his weapon, took careful aim, and squeezed the trigger. Far more annoyed than harmed by the plastic projectile, the owl swiveled its neck around until it spotted my young grandfather, and then swooped down after him to wreak its vengeance. My grandfather ran as fast as legs would carry him, darting between trees, leaping over roots, and didn’t stop til dove into the nearby lake. “Don’t shoot owls,” he told me, passing on precious family wisdom. “They will f@#k you up.”
NOTE: While the 10-rating, 5-rating, and 1-rating are actual official bitmojis, the rest of the ratings (0, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9) are unofficial custom creations, so you don’t expect to find them in the Bitmoji app or The Bitmoji Museum Archives. Names applied to particular bitmojis are entirely unofficial and used only for convenience.