If the images in advertisements and magazines represented real life, we would all be size zero, big-breasted, and 20-something. Fortunately, mainstream media doesn't truly depict what makes up our colorful world. And frankly, we're glad, because our "imperfections" set us apart and make us unique. As if they read our minds, Lean In's partnership with Getty Images brought us a reason to celebrate. Sheryl Sandberg's nonprofit LeanIn.org has joined forces with Getty Images to create what we hope will only be the start of a movement away from stereotypical, confining depictions of the modern woman.
Many companies and online publications have only a limited selection of photos to choose from. These stock photos consist of white women in power suits, women laughing alone with salads, and women struggling to balance work and family. By contrast, Lean In's new collection features over 2,500 photos depicting powerful images of women and men, showing the world a different kind of reality. We couldn't be more overjoyed!
Here are the top 10 realities in the new Lean In collection:
- Women can have it all. Especially if you have a supportive partner by your side. These photos feature women juggling successful careers while also being involved in their children's lives.
- Involved dads are sexy. Men take note — dads who spend time with their children and help around the house are every woman's dream come true.
- Career choices are endless. Women are more than just a pretty face smiling in an office. They're painters, chefs, architects, designers, and anything else they choose to be.
- Work attire doesn't always include a power suit. Thankfully, pant suits and matching blazers are not the standard anymore. Women can still look professional in outfits other than suits.
- Beauty is not defined by any age or size. Lean In's collection features all sorts of women, breaking down our notion of what makes someone beautiful. Expect to see gray hair, wrinkles, and all different body types.
- Girls rock at science and math. Girls like toys besides dolls and Easy-Bake Ovens. People are taking notice, like this commercial from GoldieBlox.
- Diversity is a wonderful thing. Sadly, there was a lot of controversy over the Coca-Cola Super-Bowl ad, but on the flip side, there was a great deal of positive feedback as well. We should be celebrating diversity and challenge anyone who disagrees.
- The treadmill isn't the only way women stay active. They lift weights, box, hike, and exercise in ways that don't involve a machine. This new collection shows that strong and healthy women are sexy.
- Women rarely laugh when eating salad alone. There is nothing wrong with eating a salad to get your nutrients. But really — who actually laughs by themselves when munching on lettuce?
- The idea of "family" has evolved. Some children are raised in a household with both a father and mother. However, a lot of children grow up with a single parent or with two dads or two moms. Family is family, not some sort of old-fashioned construct.
These photos portray a diverse spectrum of people varying in age, size, and culture. This includes dads involved with their children, women taking charge at work, households with single parents, the list goes on and on. Sandberg says, "You can be what you see," and we agree! Take a look at the entire Lean In collection and get inspired.