Search stock photo sites for 'career woman' or 'feminist', and you'll be shocked at the cliched, regressive images you find. What's going on?
Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 19:30

Search stock photo sites for 'career woman', 'girl power', or 'feminist', and you'll be shocked at the cliched, regressive images you find.   But as Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg creates the Lean In collection, this might be about to change.

In magazines, there’s always a picture of a family with a dog, or someone cooking and loving it, or a couple doing some suspiciously unsweaty exercise.

Welcome to the world of stock photography; services that allow you to download standard images of rudimentary things for a fee.

You recognize a couple of things pretty quickly; everyone’s pretty happy.


Even people who are supposed to be sad look pretty happy.


But then you might realize that stock photography does not like women. Open any provider of stock photos and punch in ‘feminist’ and you’ll get pictures like this.

Try ‘feminism’, the global, centry-old, civil rights movement, and you get this.

And ‘girl power’ and ‘empowered female’ is best represented by this.


But the pose that stock photographers have famously made synonymous with women everywhere is women laughing alone with salad.


Of course, stock photos are supposed to be cheesy and stereotypical. But there’s a large discrepancy between the portrayals of men and women. Below is a sexually empowered man versus a sexually empowered woman.

These are a handful of CEOs. Anything in common?


And lastly, this is apparently how both men and women eat bananas.


Those poor stock models who have to fellate their fruit. But at least they’re spared the embarrassment of the woman below.