In a bid to challenge stereotypes, a 10-year-old UK boy, Teddy Cottle, has started an online petition calling on Apple to redesign the appearance and name of the ‘nerd face’ emoji.
The petition was posted earlier this month by Cottle’s teacher Lisa Baillie, of Sonning Common Primary School, on petitionsonline.uk. So far the petition has over 2,000 signatures.
“I have put together this petition as I am upset and angry by the nerd emoji. I think the nerd emoji is offensive and insulting to all those people in the world who wear glasses.
“I think people who wear glasses are cool and I am worried that people who are getting glasses for the first time will think they are going to look like rabbits or rats. I am asking ‘Apple’ to change the name of the emoji to the genius emoji and change the design to the new one I have designed... Regards Teddy Cottle – Sonning Common Primary School,” it read.
Below the petition is an emoji designed by Cottle.
In a recent interview with UK-based news organisation BBC, the bespectacled boy said that Apple's nerd icon, with its front teeth sticking out, gives a bad impression of those who wear glasses.
"We want to change this — Apple is making it horrible for people wearing glasses," he told BBC.
"It's making me feel sad and upset," he continued, "…and if I find it offensive there'll be thousands of people around the world that find it offensive too."
Teddy’s version of the emoji replaces the teeth with a closed-mouth grin. "It's got thin lenses and thin frames... and then it's got a little smiley face instead of the horrible rabbit teeth," he said.
According to the BBC article, Baillie, who helped him start the petition first around the school, and then online, said: “I love Teddy's inquisitive mind and the fact he fights for what he believes in.
'He's quite vocal about it but in quite a grown-up way, and I think that should be supported, encouraged and commended as well.'
According to BBC News, Apple has not commented so far.