Take a look at these pictures.
Hands up how many of us smile, and I mean really smile, when we eat salad? And, if you’re a woman, put your other hand up if you really relate to these pictures – healthy, happy specimens with beautiful smiles, clear skins and silken hair, who each radiate the smugness that only comes from knowing you’re a goddess worshipped at the temple of your own wellbeing.
According to iStock’s director of creative planning, Rebecca Swift, who I was lucky enough to meet in Sydney this week, these images build and reinforce an image of women that is inauthentic, dated and false. However, and this is the sad bit, they’re still very commonplace in our magazines and across digital platforms.
Rebecca was in Sydney to talk about a collaboration that our clients, Getty Images and iStock, have with LeanIn.Org, the women’s non-profit founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. This collaboration has led to a collection of images that are entirely devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the communities who support them.
The Lean In Collection is reflection of the cultural shift in imagery – the move from women being portrayed in domestic roles and smiling when they eat salad, to the growing trend for people searching for imagery around female business executives, for example. In fact, at the launch this week, Rebecca said searches for female business executives across the organisation’s vast image database has jumped 350 per cent in the last three years. Interestingly, searches for “dad changing nappies” has also grown seven times during the same period.
This is really powerful stuff.
What the Lean in Collection is all about is shifting the visual representation of women in media by providing a resource for marketers, advertisers and the media to use in campaigns and communications. By creating more of these images, and making them easier to find, Getty is encouraging all of us in media, marketing and communications to use these forward-looking pictures of women and girls as realistic depictions of a new, powerful normal.
So, forks off to Getty with the Lean In Collection; the more images we get like this and the more we use them in our campaigns, the more likely we will shift perceptions.
Image Credit: iStock by Getty Images