New Emoji for 2020 – “Face with Spiral Eyes”

We now can express how we feel about 2020 with an available new emoji. One that’s “clearly influenced by the chaos of the year.”

2020 emoji

First came the pandemic, then economic and racial turmoil, followed by the destruction and trauma from epic wildfires out west—all against the backdrop of a deeply partisan and emotionally-charged presidential election. Oh, I forgot . . . did I mention the possible new wave of the coronavirus in 2020? 

As a Washington Post article suggests, we could be coming up on the darkest winter Americans have seen in a long time. The good news? We now can express how we feel about 2020 with an emoji. A new batch has just been approved by the Unicode Consortium. They may not all be available until 2021, but “they’re clearly influenced by the chaos of the year.” 

So welcome to “face exhaling”:


“Face in clouds”:


“Heart on fire”:


My personal favorite? “Face with spiral eyes”:


Also known as “face-unwell” (mood), the proposal includes suggested keywords that could be used to trigger the symbol like “oh no,” “trouble,” “whoa,” and “yikes.”

As Russell Brandom writes for The Verge:

“The general shorthand is clear enough, particularly from the anime examples included as part of the document: spiral eyes means dizzy, hypnotized, or generally overwhelmed to the point of no longer being in control of one’s actions or capable of perceiving the world…. 

“But it’s also an expression of the deeper incomprehensibility of the past six months, as social isolation curdles and a surreal pageant of personal and global tragedies unfolds. In 2020, we all have spiral eyes.” 

Yep, that pretty much sums up 2020. 

My favorite part? 

There is also an approved tag to add a beard to any face emoji (male or female) to show how much you’ve aged in the past six months.

Just wish they had a feature that would make my beard white.


This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.

James Emery White
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.