Across the media, there is a swarm of images where women can be unrealistically depicted. The “ideal woman” is often thought of as extremely thin, white, and bikini-clad. However, this is not the case for all women on earth. Each woman should be celebrated for their diverse and unique qualities, leaving assumptions and expectations behind. Dove and Getty Images have partnered with the female-led creative agency, Girlgaze, to depict “real” women in a new and diverse photo library.
According to AdAge, Project #ShowUs is a stock collection of 5,000 photos that, creators say, “shows women as they are, not as others believe they should be. There’s no digital distortion, just an unapologetically inclusive vision of beauty.” The images showcase women and non-binary individuals in a natural, unretouched, and unfiltered light. Furthermore, all of the 179 photographed individuals have created their own search and description tags, as a photographer would normally do, “so she is defining how she wants to be seen, on her own terms.” And, photos come from individuals originating in 39 countries, putting emphasis on the beauty of diversity.
Dove and Getty Images wanted to fight back on the stigma of the media and created this call-to-action campaign. Dove has been known for its support of women in their, “Real Beauty” campaign that has been life changing since 2004.
There has been extensive research prior to launching #ShowUs. Research indicated that due to the media, women’s self-esteem has decreased in the last decade. The number of women who feel worse about themselves has doubled from 14% to 36%. Two-thirds of women do not feel accurately represented by everyday images and desire to be more correctly depicted in terms of age, race, shape, and size. Getty Images have also noticed how users are searching for more progressive terms, such as: “women leaders,” “real people,” “strong women,” and “diverse women,” with a dramatic increase from 168% to 202%.
AdAge continued to explain that the partnership hopes to double the size of this collection by next year. Project #ShowUs will be featured in multiple channels including print, OOH, social and earned media. Publications such as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, O, and Marie Claire will include #ShowUs ads and images as well.
Girlgaze founder Amanda de Cadenet called the project, “a game-changing initiative.” Getty Images’ Rebecca Swift predicted that Project #ShowUs will, “break visual cliches on an unprecedented scale.”