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Emoji shouldn’t look realistic

The days of cute peach butts are dead.

Apple’s 10.2 update will gift us a much needed shrugging emoji, but that which gives can also take away. As the first images of emoji circulate on Twitter, people are mourning the death of the second-best sexting emoji. You can spot the difference by locating the peach near the bottom left corner.

No longer will we have its shapely, suggestive curve. Its giggle-worthy crack still exists, but our dear peach is now rounded out, nerfed, normalized to better mimic its real-life counterpart. The peach isn’t the only emoji to get a realistic upgrade; each food item now looks a little more like a high school student’s still-life painting than a cartoon character’s lunch.

This level of detail detracts from allure of these symbols. Texting with emoji is its own kind of art form, and like all great art, there is beauty in subtlety and interpretation. The eggplant was and remains funny as a stand-in for a penis because it’s so cartoonish. We want the implication, not the fact.

Visual communications in the colloquial sense are about drawing our own conclusions. It’s the idea of what emoji can represent, how we creatively use them, that makes them fun. Apple is removing its own ambiguity, therefore spoiling our punchline.

Emoji only stand to get more detailed, not less, as Apple improves iOS and the resolution of its smartphones screen. Pour one out for the third-best sexting emoji, the donut, which is going to look absolutely pornographic when I use it now.