Before and after [Getty]
A woman literally climbing the ‘career’ ladder; a ‘stressed’ mother juggling a baby in one hand, her shopping in the other - and who could forget the classic ‘woman laughing with salad bowl’ shots? Chances are you’ll have seen these, or outdated and sexist images like them, in adverts or illustrating news stories. Until now.
Because last week, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In foundation – a global women’s movement created on the back of her best-selling book, aimed at helping women achieve success at work – announced a partnership with Getty Images, the world’s largest stock photo service, to change the way we see women in the media. Together, they’ve produced a new collection of 25,000 images of ladies - at work, at home, with the family and working out - which step firmly away from the stereotypical photographs of women portrayed as the weaker sex, or nothing more than sexual objects.
“We want to stop women being portrayed as so highly sexualised, so that they’re no longer a bystander to their own sexuality,” says Jessica Bennett award-winning journalist and Contributing Editor for Lean In told Grazia last week. “Although we’re not consciously thinking about what each advert or media image is telling us, we’re taking it in little by little. And if every advertisement shows a woman catering for a male or in a highly sexualised position, that’s not telling her she can be a president or CEO… That’s telling her something very different. The phrase ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ has never been so fitting.”
Jessica says that, undoubtedly, now is the time for change. We’re in. Are you?