2.500 Different Ways to Say WOMAN

Published: 19 February 2014

Region: Worldwide


The question is can the stereotypical image of women be changed and how. The stock photography agency Getty Images believes it can by launching a new series of photos depicting regular, contemporary women of all ages, backgrounds and occupations on their everyday life activities.

But there are others who doubt that one set of stereotypes can be changed by imposing another set of stereotypes.The new collection entitled Female Rising presenting women as modern, happy, concentrated and serene; from a young scientist trying to fix a robot to a mature one leading a meeting.

Pamela Grossman, Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images  said: “ the content not only reflects the contemporary age we live in, but spurs us on to visualize an even better one. It’s a space where females are equally celebrated for their life choices and diversity whether they’re students, businesspeople, athletes, aides, mentors, makers, mothers, partners, or none of the above”.

This visual rebranding, comprised by 2.500 pieces, is far away from the typical pictures showing women wearing boxing gloves, sleeping on their laptops or climbing a ladder to the sky. It aims not only to represent the changing face of women empowerment in society but also to promote a positive imaginary that female population can emulate to and be inspired by. TIME News Feed compares the two types of photos – clichéd and new- in 10 different contexts, proving the clear difference between them.

But can really a stock photo describes something more than a stereotype?

Angela Philips, columnist in Guardian, still doubts about the efficiency of this initiative commenting ”It’s not a terrible idea, but I rather doubt that the way forward is to switch one set of stereotyped stock pictures for another. The sample pictures from the “special collection” […] brightly lit rooms in which nothing is ever out of place and everyone is relentlessly joyful. They are disembodied symbols of a new kind of femininity in which every woman is a winner “because she is worth it”.

The idea of the new collection has been realized with the cooperation of Lean In organization, run by Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, and Getty Images.

Ten per cent of the revenue generated from the images will go to support Leanin.org, which promotes leadership for women.