The good news is that for the second week in a row, we are being treated to the full count of 6 new bitmojis. The weird news is that at least 5 of them were added to the app yesterday afternoon, jumping the gun on Newmoji Friday for some reason. The bad news is that the recent trend continues of seemingly low amounts of effort being put in by the Bitmoji art department. That said, let’s see how the new material stacks up:
Bitmoji corporate boss: “Hey, I know it’s last minute and you only have like 5 minutes before deadline, but could you knock out one more newmoji for me?” Bitmoji art department: “Sure!”
Alright, maybe the conversation at headquarters didn’t actually go like that, but it might as well have. It’s not like this is a terrible new bitmoji, but… look at how similar this is to “Prom?” from just three weeks ago with the thicc pink font with heavy outline and the pastel stars floating around the avatar for no reason. And “Girl Power” from two weeks ago is only a slight variation on the formula. It’s concerning.
In popular imagination, the thumbs down hand gesture got its negative connotation back in the bloodsport arenas of ancient Rome where it was used to signal a gladiator to deliver the coup de grace to his defeated opponent. It turns out popular imagination has this ass-backwards. The Latin term pollice verso means “turned thumb” without indicating a direction. Evidence suggests it was actually an upward-pointed thumb that indicated a victorious combatant should finish off his foe. You’d best keep this in mind if you’re planning on doing any time traveling. As for this bitmoji, while it may come in handy (see what I did there?) from time to time, it’s… just a close-up of the avatar’s hand, and that’s not enough for me to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s just… meh.
So if the ancient Romans aren’t the originators of the positive connotation of the thumbs up, who were? Apparently no one knows for certain. The English zoologist, ethologist, and surrealist painter Desmond Morris suggests in his book Bodytalk: A World Guide to Gestures, that its origins can be found in a medieval custom of sealing business transactions by having each party lick a raised thumb and then press them into each other. Over time, the very act of raising a thumb indicated agreement or approval. None of this, however, explains the mystery of why we call a single instance of the hand gesture a thumbs (plural) up. Anyhow, what we’ve got right here seems to be the end result of a couple of Bitmoji artists licking their thumbs, pressing them together, and deciding to phone it in this week.
You Gotta Be Kitten Me!
“You gotta be kitten me!” indeed. That was my very sentiment when I saw the new batch of bitmojis this week. But this one is the pick of the litter (see what I did there?) if only for the pleasureful groan its wordplay induces and the return of the orange tabby cat suit. But even though I’m awarding it the prestigious BotW award, it fails to reach the upper echelon of 8, 9, or 10-ratings because trotting out the orange tabby cat suit, adorable though it is, still smacks of low effort. Or are the Bitmoji folks actually running out of new ideas? Because I’ve got plenty. One day I’ll have to make a These Should Be Bitmojis exhibit for this museum.
Bitmoji: Whatchu want? Me, an intellectual: Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want.
Unlike the Spice Girls though (who I can’t believe I’m referencing for the second time this month), I don’t really wanna zigazig ah, I just really want the folks at Bitmoji to get their act together and stop serving us up these basic af newmojis each Friday. I want them to recapture the magic of bitmoji glories past. I want new and creative art. I want “Persistence of Memory” and “Subway Loneliness”, but hell, I’d settle for “Go Bananas!”
If this were the first bitmoji to feature a kitty suit, we’d be looking at a BotW contender here. And while I love all-things cat-related too much to rate this any lower than a 6, it’s tempting because this is not just the 5th use of the orange tabby cat suit, it is nearly identical to “Not Interested” from 2016 with the text and the spittle removed. To quote the most vile president in American history: “Sad.”
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.