A measure of how we see ourselves can be found in the images we use to depict ourselves. LeanIn.org and Getty Images have teamed up to change how we view woman in stock photography.
Instead of women with forced smiles and contorted postures, new stock photos show women in more realistic, contemporary settings — multitasking, flipping through a catalogue and lifting weights. The idea is to break through visual stereotypes.
Sheryl Sandberg, author of "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," told the New York Times, "When we see images of women and girls and men, they often fall into stereotypes that we're trying to overcome, and you can't be what you can't see."
Getty's part of the partnership is led by Pam Grossman, the stock photography company's director of research. Part of her job is to track demographics and visual trends. She has helped create a new library consisting of 2,500 stock photos of women and girls, a quarter of which are new to Getty's collection. While Getty has added images in lockstep with societal transitions, this is the first time it assembled a collection in collaboration with a non-profit.
Advertising agencies, PR firms and web designers go to stock photography libraries to search for the perfect image. Now Getty will offer a wider, more diverse range of images showing women and girls in less clichéd settings. The library includes women in roles such as surgeons, painters, bakers, soldiers and hunters.