Getty Images recently released the “Lean In” collection, in partnership withLeanIn.org, which features more than 2,500 photos of female leadership in contemporary work and life. The aim of the collection is to change the way that women are portrayed in the media. All too often, women are portrayed as sexual objects in the media, regardless of profession or race. The picture below is just one example. If you search female construction worker, the results will be many variations of the picture below on the left, instead of the more realistic picture on the right. Getty and LeanIn are working to change that stereotype in the media, by presenting many variations of realistic pictures of women in different situations. Furthermore, in media situations, the only options may be pictures like the one on the left. By photographic and publishing women in a variety of positions, Getty is making it easy to find realistic images, so companies don’t have to use over-sexualized images.
“This is such a big passion project for all of us, and cheesy as it sounds, by showing people powerful images of women, we thought maybe we could actually change the world,” Pam Grossman, director of visual trends at Getty Images, told BuzzFeed.
The editors were especially attuned to a viewer’s perception of the women in the photos. “The most important thing for us is that you felt like the woman had agency, not like the image was happening to her, but she was the protagonist of her own story — they all should feel like the hero of their image,” Grossman said.
“We paid careful attention to make sure the images were diverse, not just in terms of race, but also in age, family situation, and career,” said Bennett. Notably, the collection also features men actively participating in what may be seen as nontraditional male roles.
“My hope is that internally our photographers will see these stories and it will inspire them to create even more [positive images of women],” she said.
The project is clearly achieving its goal. With more than 2,500 photos, that show a diverse group of women from all walks of life, the project is clearly working to produce images that will counter-balence the over sexualized images that often take precedence in the media. With projects like this, those over-sexualized images will become obsolete, and the realistic, diverse images (like the ones that Getty is providing) will become mainstream.
See more of the amazing images below: