Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs
Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs is a Unicode block containing meteorological and astronomical symbols, emoji characters largely for compatibility with Japanese telephone carriers' implementations of Shift JIS, and characters originally from the Wingdings and Webdings fonts found in Microsoft Windows.
The Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block has 54 emoji that represent people or body parts. For these, a set of "Emoji modifiers" are defined. These are modifier characters intended to define the skin colour to be used for the emoji, based on the Fitzpatrick scale (but conflating the two lightest skin types into one category):
The draft document suggesting the introduction of this system for the representation of "human diversity" was submitted in August 2014 by Mark Davis of Google and Peter Edberg of Apple Inc. and was adopted in Unicode version 8.0 (June 2015). It was the result of lobbying by Katrina Parrott, whose daughter came up with the idea after being unable to send emojis that looked like her.
The following table shows the full combinations of the "human emoji" characters with each of the five modifiers, which should display each character in each of the five skin tones provided a suitable font is installed on the system and the rendering software is capable of handling modifier characters, platforms without emoji modifier support may show as boxes:
The following Unicode-related documents record the purpose and process of defining specific characters in the Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block: