Misty Copeland Petitions Apple to Diversify the Pointe Shoe Emoji
Misty Copeland—groundbreaking ballerina, author, director, and role model—has been advocating for diversity in dance for decades. Her latest move? Challenging Apple to introduce a spectrum of skin tones for the pointe shoe emoji via a petition on Change.org.
On Wednesday morning, a video of Copeland discussing how she’s been coloring her pointe shoes to match her skin tone went viral on TikTok. The task of pancaking is an experience shared by many dancers of color; until recent years, most companies didn’t offer pointe shoes in a range of skin tones.
By the following morning, Copeland had launched the petition and posted another video asking her followers to sign it and spread the news. As of 12 pm EDT today, over 7,550 people have signed.
“Fortunately, ballet shoe companies are beginning to embrace diversity by offering pointe shoes in various shades,” Copeland writes on the petition page. “Yet, when I use Apple’s pointe shoe emoji, I only see ‘European Pink.’ In an era where Apple showcases diversity across its emoji spectrum, why is the pointe shoe left behind?” The petition is yet another example of Copeland’s activism acknowledging how artists interact in the digital age. “Every signature,” she continues, “brings us one step closer to a world where ballet, both on the stage and in digital spaces, reflects all of us.”