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Facebook's Friend Request Logo Has Had A Feminist Redesign

The female silhouette is no longer in the shadow of the male in the friends icon.
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Laura Silver
BuzzFeed News Reporter, UK

You may have noticed a small but symbolic change to the friend request icon on your Facebook page.

Facebook / Via medium.com

The icon has been altered so the female figure is in front of the male one, after Facebook designer Caitlin Winner noticed that previously "the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man".

Facebook / Via medium.com

"Much to my dismay, not long into my tenure as a Facebook designer I found something in the company glyph kit worth getting upset about," Winner said in a post on Medium.

The first thing she noticed was that "the iconic man was symmetrical except for his spiked hairdo but the lady had a chip in her shoulder," and that the chip just so happened to be "exactly where the man icon would be placed in front of her".

"I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration but as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me," Winner said.

Facebook / Via medium.com

"it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon," she added.

Having filled in the shoulder chip, Winner also gave the female icon a "more modern" bob haircut and smoothed out the male icon's hair.


Winner also altered the "groups" icon, so the woman no longer appeared "in the back left behind the larger centered man".

Facebook / Via medium.com

"Here again, I placed the lady first," she said.

As the new symbols have been rolled out, a quick scan of Facebook profiles around the BuzzFeed office would suggest that on women's profiles, the female icon is heroed, while on men's, the male icon remains in front.

How's that for equality?

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Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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