Flirtmoji

A followup on vulva plagiarism

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  • This is also a great opportunity to reset on something else: These are vulva emojis, not vagina. When we launched two weeks ago, we called them ‘vagina emojis’. But as they created buzz, they also sparked advocacy on behalf of ‘vulvas’. We did some research and learned a thing or two. Now we’re calling them vulvas. This makes some very cool people happy, and that’s dope.
  • Even on it’s most bummer day, this project has taught us, inspired us, and connected us to a thoughtful and compassionate community of sex-positive advocates. That’s, like, incredible. We’re very grateful.

The evolution of pubes.

Over the next few weeks, Flirtmoji will be releasing sneak peeks of our upcoming BODIES pack. Check back each Friday for new emojis featuring penises, vaginas, butts, boobs, and other beautiful naughty bits. As we roll out this art, Flirtmoji artists Katy and Jeremy are pulling back the curtain and revealing their thoughts and sketches as they developed these ideas.

When we first started making Flirtmoji, body hair posed the most significant design challenge. We knew it was important and we wanted to include it, but couldn’t find a way to pull it off within our design style.  We maintain a minimum stroke width across all our art, and this hefty noodle of a line made our early attempts at hair look like thick extruded play-doh tubes. Not good.

So when we launched Flirtmoji most of our genitals were, sadly, hairless. Maybe bald is your thing, but in our spirit of inclusivity and body-positivity, we felt awful at not having any body hair offerings. 

Katy: I believe in body hair. Body hair is honest. It traps moisture and scent. It relays information about our lineage and our ancestral history. It is revealing in the best of ways. To be naked is to be connected with your inner animal.

A few months ago, with time and dedication, Flirtmoji artist Jeremy made some headway into solving the Flirtmoji body hair solution. This is what we came up:

So we kept at it. We kept drawing, thinking, dreaming about pubes…

Jeremy: From the beginning, I was mostly stumped by pubic hair. In our early drawing stages, our style used 1 pixel strokes as outlines. In this style, I was unable to crack the pubic riddle. Check out these hot messes:

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Eventually, we refined our style to use a 2 pixel minimum. I figured this new pube-problem would be twice as hard as the 1-pixel-pube-problem, so I gave up.

The first breakthrough came from drawing this very weird (and ultimately ditched) Flirtmoji. It got me thinking about how sculptors created pubes in marble, which led to me to a google search checking out some of the ancient sculpture master’s treatment of pubic hair. At times pixels feels like a very limiting and challenging medium—but it was inspiring knowing artists have succeeded with mediums as difficult as marble.

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With this new curly pube style in mind, we tweaked our style. A change in stroke size allowed us to more delicately draw the pubes. Now we feel capable of capturing the beauty of a big natural bush atop a thick pussy. Or a swath of fur framing a lovely weiner.

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To test out our new style, we’ve been drawing some hairy glorious pussies. The addition of those delicate tendrils, plus asymmetry and lots of labial variation, makes for a set of super diverse icons.

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We’ve added these give new pussies to the site today—for free! Which one is your favorite?

Love,

Katy & Jeremy