This 10-year-old wants Apple to change the "offensive and insulting" "nerd" glasses emoji

nerd emoji
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Do you wear glasses? Are you sick of the “nerd” emoji meme popping up on your social media? One 10-year-old from Peppard, Oxfordshire, in the UK, wants to change Apple’s “nerd” emoji to save glasses wearers everywhere.

Type “nerd” into your Messages app, and your iPhone’s keyboard will prompt an emoji with glasses and two huge front teeth. 10-year-old Teddy has started a petition to raise awareness and get Apple to change the emoji.

Speaking to the BBC, Teddy said, "We want to change this - Apple is making it absolutely horrible for people wearing glasses."

“They're making people think we're nerds and it's absolutely horrible.” 

"It's making me feel sad and upset, and if I find it offensive there'll be thousands of people around the world that find it offensive too."

The “nerd” emoji is often used online to “make fun of largely subjective technical arguments that people in a given fandom, particularly music nerds, make to call something bad.” according to Know Your Meme.

However, it can take a more sinister turn, as the comments on the tweet of the original BBC article of Teddy’s story littered with “nerd” emojis proves.

Teddy launched the campaign after seeing the emoji while texting a family member. He decided to raise the concern with his teacher, who helped him start the petition to get Apple’s attention.

A glasses emoji with style

Teddy has drawn an alternative version of the “nerd” emoji that he believes shines a positive light on glasses — he also wants it renamed to the “genius” emoji.

"It's got thin lenses and thin frames... and then it's got a little smiley face instead of the horrible rabbit teeth,"

Teddy likes wearing his glasses, “they make me see a lot better, and they look good and stylish."

While Apple has yet to comment on his proposal, Teddy hopes that speaking up about this problem will change how he and others are perceived for wearing glasses.

We’ll have to wait and see if Apple responds, but if they do, there will be one very happy 10-year-old and many other happy children, no longer worried about feeling like “nerds.”

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • Annie_M
    I have always found the "nerd" emoji to be amusing.
    Reply
  • iebock
    Why do the 99% of people not offended by stuff caving to the 1% that are. Time for this little boy to grow up.
    Reply
  • Iconoclysm
    Do we really need to remake Revenge Of The Nerds so a new generation can understand the benefits of being smart?

    Seriously though, changing the emoji will not change the word or its connotations. At 10 years old, he's probably not thinking that far ahead.
    Reply
  • Lee_Bo
    Iconoclysm said:
    At 10 years old, he's probably not thinking that far ahead.

    At 10 years old, he’s not thinking at all. Things being driven by mommy and daddy.
    Reply
  • Lee_Bo
    Reply
  • HelloNNNewman
    1 person in the world doesn't like something... rest of world must change. Our kids need to be taught to suck it up.
    Reply
  • Annie_M
    HelloNNNewman said:
    1 person in the world doesn't like something... rest of world must change. Our kids need to be taught to suck it up.
    AMEN!
    Reply