Around the World / Body Image / Feminism / Media criticism

Redefining the Stock

Stock photos; they are everywhere. They are utilized in advertisements, products in pre-sale, articles, and elsewhere. You can find them on the internet, in print, and in databases. I have always been curious as to who these people are and why they were chosen for these images. Are they picked because they are nondescript, attractive yet average, and yet still relatable?

Oftentimes when women are shown in stock photos, they are slender, white females in very docile and conservative environments. Getty Images, the company that houses the largest compilation of stock photos, is trying to change the game. In their newest collection, called “Lean In,” in partnership with, they have been working to change how women are viewed in the media and elsewhere.

From gettyimages's Lean In Collection

From Getty Images’s Lean In Collection

The collection launched this past Monday with over 2,500 images of women in positions of leadership and strength, be it in the workforce or life and the women range in age, ethnicity, body type, and environment. The project began when Pam Grossman, the director of visual trends at Getty Images, initiated a study that would track the changes in the representation of girls and women in the media. The study turned into a presentation that Grossman later shared with Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In team at Facebook Headquarters in Palo Alto, California, last fall.


From Getty Images’s Lean In Collection

To get a better look at the collection, check it out here

From Getty Images' Lean In Collection

From Getty Images’ Lean In Collection

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