70 Percent of Women Feel They Are Not Represented in Images


Even as we celebrate women this month, 70 percent of women globally say they still don’t feel represented in the images they see every day.

In light of that, Dove, together with its partners Getty Images and Girlgaze, recently announced Project #ShowUs, the world’s largest stock photo library created by women and non-binary individuals to shatter beauty stereotypes. The ambition? To come together and put an end to the narrow definition of beauty consistently portrayed around the world, setting a new standard for the authentic, diverse and inclusive representation of women across the world. Women wish media and advertisers did a better job of portraying women of physical diversity with two-thirds (66%) currently feeling there is limited body shapes and sizes and 64 percent feeling characteristics such as scars, freckles and skin conditions are unrepresented.

Even with decades of work by Dove, Getty Images and Girlgaze to liberate women from limiting stereotypes, many images continue to impose unrealistic beauty standards that present a narrow view of who women are, what they should look like, and what they can achieve. Every day, women’s lives are affected by these limitations, exclusions and stereotypes. It affects their health, relationships and the opportunities they are given.

In one of the largest global studies of its kind, Dove research study found that 67 percent of women are calling for brands to step up and start taking responsibility for the stock imagery they use. On Getty Images, the search term “real people” has increased 192 percent over the past year, “diverse women” by 168 percent, and “strong women” by 187 percent, providing more evidence of the demand for a more realistic portrayal of women and beauty. There is also huge need for stock imagery to include women in more progressive and empowering roles and scenarios with “women leaders” up by 202 percent.

Project #ShowUs is created in partnership with Getty Images, one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of imagery, and Girlgaze, a network of 200,000 female-identifying and non-binary creatives from all around the world. Dove calls upon creative and media professionals to join them in redefining how women are represented in the images we see around us every single day.

Project #ShowUs, which contains over 5,000 images, is available now for the media and advertising industries to view, license and use in their next project or campaign.