New emojis for 2021 to include beards for women, a flaming heart, dozens of skin tone options

Emojis and emoticons laid out in a grid.
Photo credit Getty Images

The pandemic has disrupted quite a bit of normal life, even affecting the creation and release of new emojis for our chat and messaging communications.

The non-profit Unicode Consortium, a group of volunteers who are the brains behind the modern hieroglyphics we use to communicate now, said there would be no new emojis until 2022 due to the coronavirus.

Unicode announced recently it will put out a minor release of more than 200 new emojis for 2021, along with seven brand new ones.

The bulk of the update, comprising 200 out of the 217 new emojis, is dedicated to skin tones for the "couple with heart" emoji and the "kiss" emoji.  Current options offer only the default "yellow" skin tone for both, but the update will allow other skin tones to be specified. This would also allow for the depiction of interracial relationships.

The new emojis are the "heart on fire", the "mending heart", a breathing face, spiral eyes, a face in the clouds, and both "person with beard" and "woman with beard".