Where does come from?
In many countries and cultures around the world, menstruation—getting your period—is shamed. To help reduce this stigma, the children’s rights nonprofit Plan International UK advocated for what they called a #periodemoji in 2017–19.
They started a petition, asking supporters to vote for their favorite design for a period emoji. A design showing underwear with a blood droplet won, but wasn’t accepted by the Unicode Consortium, which approves and standardizes emoji.
— PlanInternational UK (@PlanUK) May 30, 2017
So, Plan International UK came up with a plan B. They partnered with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Blood and Transplant services to develop a drop of blood emoji instead. That way, the emoji could be broader, representing menstruation, blood transfers, and other blood-related topics.
Unicode approved this proposal, which was added under Emoji 12.0 in 2019. The drop of blood emoji shows a red drop of blood, like a red water drop. On unsupported platforms, the emoji displays as an empty box.
While feeling it is a step forward, some think the drop of blood emoji is still insufficient for representing menstruation.
I want full tampon emoji. A droplet of blood is not a period emoji, it’s not erasing ANY stigma at all. Ambiguous and multi functional. pic.twitter.com/yjaxSAwCsr
— Ceara Bailey (@Cearaa) February 7, 2019
Who uses ?
The drop of blood emoji can be used for various content concerning blood, including bleeding from an injury, blood tests and donations, menstruation, and heath and medicine more generally.
— Israel in the EU (@IsraelinEU) April 18, 2019
"Period poverty should never be a barrier to education." — @AmikaGeorge
Welcome news that from early 2020 the government will provide access to free sanitary products in primary schools across England. 👧🩸https://t.co/H5D1ZewQDd
— nurtureuk (@nurtureuktweets) April 16, 2019
Be a part of it!
Today is the day! See you at Silliman University Medical School from 9:30 A.M to 5:00 P.M.
— Shaquil Ely Gavino (@nakakashaq) February 9, 2019
Other blood-related applications for the drop of blood emoji include gore in horror and metaphorical senses of blood, as in blood on one’s hands.
— MissInfoTV (@MissInfoTV) March 19, 2019
Unicode/Emoji 12.0 bringing us 🩸 drop of blood, can we please have the ZWJ sequence 😂🩸 for when you're crying blood (such as when opening the email newsletter from my son's gym class; yes, it's Comic Sans; that's the smallest issue)?
— Andreas Ehn (@ehn) February 17, 2019
But I can now type 🩸👐 as a symbol for war criminal.
(New blood drop emoji probably won't render on your device)
— Paul D (@Paulmd199) February 14, 2019