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Photography Hind Bouqartacha, courtesy Getty Images/Girlgaze/Dove

Dove x Girlgaze create world’s biggest archive of photos made by women


TextKamara Hakeem-Oyawoye

Part of Project #ShowUs, 5000 images have been released to Getty in a bid to change the way women are represented in advertising and media

Dissatisfied by the unrealistic and homogenous way the media and advertising represent women, photography platform Girlgaze has teamed up with Dove to launch #ShowUs - a library of 5,000 images of women by women, which have been made instantly available to Getty Images, where brands can license, view and use them in forthcoming work. "When there’s more diversity behind the lens, there is more diversity in front of it,” says Girlgaze founder, Amanda de Cadanet.

In one of the biggest studies of its kind, Dove discovered that 7 in 10 women feel pressured to reach an unrealistic beauty standard due to the consistent barrage of beauty stereotypes they see in advertising and the media. “Our research has shown that 67% of women are calling for brands to step up and start taking responsibility for the stock imagery they use and, because of this, we wish to make a real systematic change in the way media and advertisers depict women,”  says Dove's global vice president, Sophie Galvani. Hoping to make sure every woman feels realistically represented, every individual shot by one of Girlgaze’s 179 photographers has personally defined their own search descriptions and tags for their images. This allows them to define their beauty in their own language, on their own terms

By increasing the stock of diverse representations of women, #ShowUs is pioneering the change to more accurately represent women globally. “We take this responsibility very seriously and want to empower our customers to create visual communications which are truly representative of their audiences,” says Dr Rebecca Swift, a senior director of creative insights at Getty Images and iStock. Casting the net even wider, Dove is offering women around the world the chance to add their images to the library and be part of the change simply by using the hashtag.

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