Arts | Business | Economy

'Harried Mom' Becomes Dynamic Woman In These Stock Images

NPR | Feb. 14, 2014 7:46 a.m.

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NPR Staff

This week Getty Images teamed up with LeanIn.org, the nonprofit foundation of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, to release a new collection of stock photos. There are about 2,500 new images of modern women and families.

Getty’s director of visual trends, Pamela Grossman, says that with women as the primary users of social media, it was time for a different kind of representation in media and advertising.

“Virtually every conversation I’ve been having at least for the last three years has been our clients asking for these much more authentic images that don’t feel posed or staged or contrived in any way, but that actually feel much more relatable,” she tells NPR’s Renee Montagne.

Grossman says the new stock photos update an otherwise stereotypical repository.

“I think there’s been a lot of women in power suits with boxing gloves or women in stiletto heels stepping on men,” she says, “and that’s definitely the kind of work that we are aggressively shifting away from.”

The new version of a woman multitasking, Grossman says, “would be somebody who maybe has her arms filled with certainly a tablet or some kind of creative plans and then she’s also engaged in a conversation. Certainly she still looks busy, but it’s a little bit more subtle of a visual read.”

The Lean In Collection includes powerful female athletes and women in tech. It also features different representations of “Mom.”

“The older model would be that … the mother looked incredibly harried, and she would be juggling a dinner plate in one hand and a baby in the other,” Grossman says. “Sometimes even more arms would be Photoshopped onto her to show just how indeed she was juggling it all.”

She says the updated pictures of motherhood are more dynamic.

“They seem interesting. They seem like they have more going on in their lives,” she says. “They really feel like they have contemporary style, and they’re engaged and energetic.”

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