Social-justice activists are fighting against the new taco emoji because it’s not an accurate cultural representation of an authentic Mexican taco.
In a nearly 1,000-word (!) piece for First We Feast, the folks at the food and culture blog LA Taco explain that although their social-justice “quest” is not comparable to “real online-activist movements like #BlackLivesMatter” (um — no kidding) the current emoji represents “everything we are fighting against,” which actually sounds pretty serious to me.
The emoji, they explain, must depict meat, onion, cilantro, and a corn tortilla — and definitely not tomato, lettuce, and cheddar cheese, as in the current version — or else we will have “missed a rare opportunity to preserve the integrity of this dish and raise international awareness.”
In case you’re not already convinced that this is definitely a huge deal, LA Taco goes on to explain that that since “fast-food giant Taco Bell” had launched a petition for a taco emoji last year, the current version clearly represents some kind of corporate-takeover conspiracy:
Taco Bell marketers realized that by pushing for a taco emoji — specifically one that looks like their product — it would help them “own” the mind-space around tacos in their most transmittable form.
#related#“Those of us rooting for a real taco emoji realized this was a high-stakes game that could be exploited by large corporations to push their version of what a taco is and should be — and ultimately control the conversation,” it continues. “If the Taco Bell taco were to be enshrined by the emoji designers at Apple, Google, and Microsoft, it would be a slap in the face to the creators, originators and purveyors of authentic, non-corporate tacos all over the world.”
(Or it would be, you know, just an emoji.)