The Poo Emoji – or why poo is the best Christmas present to get especially if you’re feeling a little down


The poo emoji—or poop emoji if you’re from the USA—is now an official part of the emoji lexicon. It was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015.

Most of us use the poo emoji on a daily basis. And if you don’t, you must be one of the few, because it’s ranked in the Top Ten most used emojis. And it’s the second-most used stand-alone emoji.

What is the appeal of the poo emoji? It’s the dissonance of having a pile of poo (which is disgusting) combined with a smiley face (which is so cute).

Let’s face it, poo is disgusting.

That’s why the original poo emoji was surrounded by flies, before the flies were replaced by the smiley face. The smiley face is an attempt to sanitise the pile of poo.

That’s because, at the risk of repeating myself, poo is disgusting.

If you go to Japan, many of the toilet seats have a button that you can push to play music. The music is an attempt to cover up the disturbing sounds of you doing a poo. Because there is something undignified in doing a poo.

And if you work in a hospital, like I do, the doctors and nurses can cope with brains, blood, and bile. But if there’s poo to be cleaned up, we all scream eeeeeewww! and run away, leaving it to the most junior staff member to clean up. Because there is something degrading about poo. That’s why the person at the bottom of the pecking order (usually me!) has to clean it up.

But, here’s the thing. When Jesus came to us as a human, he didn’t just come to us as a human, but as a baby. A baby covered in his own poo.

Think about this! The Son of God, at the top of the pecking order, came to us as a baby covered in his own poo.

In this way, Jesus affirms our human condition. He says there is dignity as a human no matter what stage or state of life we find ourselves in.

When I used to change the pooey nappies for my children, I used to joke with them, “Now just remember. One day you’ll be doing this for me.”

It’s a funny thing to say. But it’s also kinda sad.

That’s because the sad reality is that 1/2 of us reading this will end life with Alzheimer’s—covered in our own poo. And the other 1/2 of us will end life having to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. (Having played rugby most of my life, suffering head knocks, I think I know which of the 1/2 I will be.)

But Jesus comes to us as a baby. Not talking. Not walking. Covered in poo.

My grandmother ended her life not talking. My grandfather ended his life not walking. And I will end my life in nappies covered in poo. But Jesus says that’s OK. There’s nothing undignified about this.

In fact, it’s the opposite. There is something supremely dignified about each and every human being. No matter what stage or state of life we find ourselves in.

This Christmas, remember that Jesus came to us covered in his own poo.

So, maybe, this Christmas, send a poo emoji to those you love. Because nothing quite says Christmas like poo.

Luke 2:1-12

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