A boy, 10, is angry at how the ‘nerd’ emoji portrays someone with glasses and front teeth poking out.
Teddy Cottle, from Oxfordshire, is petitioning Apple to change the ‘nerd’ emoji to the ‘genius’ emoji. He believes that the current emoji is harmful to people who wear glasses.
Speaking to the BBC, Teddy said that the current emoji is “offensive and insulting”, adding that “Apple is making it absolutely horrible for people wearing glasses.”
He became so angry at this depiction that he started a petition to change the emoji’s appearance and name.
His anger stems from the misrepresentation of people who wear glasses. “I find it offensive. There’ll be thousands of people around the world that find it offensive too.”
In his petition, Teddy writes,
“I am worried that people who are getting glasses for the first time will think they are going to look like rabbits or rats.”
From ‘Nerd’ to ‘Genius’
Teddy’s redesign features thin glass frames and a small smile instead of front teeth that poke out. He calls it the ‘genius’ emoji.
“I like wearing glasses because they make me see a lot better, and they look good and stylish,” he explained to the BBC.
With the help of one of his teachers, Lisa Baillie, he launched the petition.
Teddy first shared his concerns with Lisa, who helped him begin the campaign. They started around their school, Sonning Common Primary School, before launching the petition online.
“He’s quite vocal about it but in quite a grown-up way, and I think that should be supported, encouraged and commanded as well,” Lisa told the BBC.
“I love his inquisitive mind and the fact he fights for what he believes in.”
Teddy’s petition has been met with incredible positivity. As of Sunday evening, it’s gotten over 1,800 signatures.
“I wear glasses too, and I agree with Teddy! You go, dude!” commented Michelle Church on the petition.
Kate Lockwood writes, “Teddy Cottle’s Genius Emoji is inspiring.”
Teddy hopes to see the redesign become a reality. He said it would “feel amazing, and I’d be so excited” if Apple listened to him and everyone who signed the petition.
For more information (or to sign Teddy’s petition), his campaign can be found here.