Will Lean In And Getty Rid The World Of The Media's Subtle Sexism?

As professionals who use stock photography, we can tell you from experience how hard it can be to find just the right image. We can also tell you that whatever difficulties we have are often multiplied tenfold when we're trying to find just the right image of just the right woman.
Thanks to history and the nature of the biz, stock photography agencies have always had difficulty supplying images of women that speak to more than just simple, almost antiquated notions of motherhood, girlishness, and sexuality. Anyone remember Women Laughing Alone With Salad? Yeah.
This wouldn't be all that big a deal, if not for the fact that stock photography agencies supply the lion's share of imagery for print, digital, and TV ads, along with the accompanying visuals for article after article and post after post. Sure, there are thousands of decent images of women to be had — but then again, there are only so many shots of Caucasian ladies in their late 20s doing yoga one can stand. If stock photography has become integral to how women see themselves — and it has — shouldn't it reflect the diversity of body types, skin tones, professions, lifestyles, and age groups women themselves represent?
Probably should, right?
A big step forward (we hope) is this week's announcement that Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In nonprofit has teamed up with Getty Images to both catalog and create a new supply of more diverse, more representational photos. In addition to curating their own collection of images that picture diversity, empowerment, and many aspects of the modern woman, they've collaborated on a grant that will pay photographers to produce such pics, thus widening the selection.
Now, this isn't a cure-all. Ad agencies and editorial departments still have to use them and we, as consumers, have to react to them. Still, it's a promising start, and a step up from Women Laughing Alone With Salad. (Infocus/Getty Images)
Video: Courtesy Getty Images.

More from Pop Culture

We've been learning all sorts of surprising things about actresses' former lives lately. Last week, we discovered that Emily Blunt was almost a pop star. ...
Jennifer Aniston has not yet said a word about the divorce of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But that doesn't mean the world won't try to find meaning in ...
Elle Macpherson wishes she wasn't there for Friends. According to E!, Macpherson told Australia's TV Week that she regrets her five-episode stint on the...
Jeb Bush has been a Florida governor and a presidential candidate. His latest gig? Comedian, apparently. In an opening sketch for the Emmys, Jimmy ...
What do you remember about the '90s? Do you get misty-eyed thinking about the iconic couples of yesteryear (Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder; Gwyneth Paltrow ...
The only thing surprising about Wendy Williams's decision to weigh in on Brangelina's divorce is that it's taken her this long to do so. The TV host ...
Emma Watson's new short film on gender equality manages to both celebrate the obstacles women have overcome and remind viewers there's still a long way to ...
Sarah Hyland and her boyfriend, Dominic Sherwood, have been dating for quite a while, and it's time to make it official. Well, gift-wrap official, that is...
Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender have been dating for nearly two years after they met on the set of The Light Between Oceans. But the pair have ...
Kanye West is officially the King of Shade after the stunt he pulled in Nashville, the country capital, this weekend. The city also has close ties to one...
Brody Jenner put himself firmly on the side of the "All Lives Matter" campaign this weekend after applauding his friend's assertion that the recent police...
Been yearning for a Taylor Swift fix? You're in luck. The pop star has been keeping a semi-low profile as of late, but made an exception over the weekend...
Britney Spears headlined the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas Saturday, but as always brought the drama even in places she wasn't. Those places ...
Update: A 35-year-old man was arrested and jailed by Scotland Yard in relation to the theft of Pippa Middleton's photos, the BBC reports. He was arrested...