Forget the Battle of the Bastards, we’ve got something that’s just as important. The battle of stock photography vs negative social stereotypes is starting to gain momentum, like the Night King’s army. From promoting body positivity and accurate cultural representations, learn how this industry is slowly but surely starting to do its part to make the world a more inclusive place for everyone.

1. Addressing diversity in media

The Battle of Stock Photography vs Negative Social Stereotypes 123RF Blog - Two multicultural women posing for a picture

We’ve mentioned this a couple of times before, it’s time to recolor our stock photography. From Hollywood productions to local media content, we’ve all been guilty of this negative social stereotype; whitewashing and generalizing our people. Put simply, the marginalized have been under-represented.

A classic example of this lies in the labeling and portrayal of Asians. If you fit the skin tone, you’re basically an Asian from either China, Korea or Japan. So what about our Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian buddies? Meanwhile, if you hail from Kenya or South Africa, you’re automatically categorized as an African. Talk about marginalizing an entire continent that’s three times the size of Europe.

2. Pushing for body positivity

The Battle of Stock Photography vs Negative Social Stereotypes 123RF Blog - Handicapped athlete jumping

Let’s address the elephant in the room for this point. The stock photography industry is notorious for promoting negative social stereotypes when it comes to body positivity. How many dudes out there are sculpted like a Greek God? And how many women can claim to be a size zero? It’s time to change this, as every-body is beautiful.

Moms with stretch marks, dads with dad bods and scrawny teenagers are just some examples of communities who need to be appropriately represented. Additionally, even the term ‘plus-sized’ model should be done with, as it creates a segregation between a normal model and one that’s deemed to be oversized.

3. Breaking gender roles and family dynamics

The Battle of Stock Photography vs Negative Social Stereotypes 123RF Blog - Lesbian couple as parents

The media often subtly tells us what to do. This powerful tool has what it takes to shape our beliefs and values. In the eye of traditional society, family dynamics are always set in stone. Men are the breadwinners and women remain in the kitchen. Even the kids are not spared as boys are meant to play with cars and girls have tea parties with barbies.

Above all, a family is only made possible from a man and a woman. The media simply has no space for couples of the same sex, as their abilities to act as parents and raise a family are questioned. Well, the media is wrong to push this negative social stereotype. So it’s time for stock photography to step in and do its part to banish this negative social stereotype.

4. Celebrating women in power

The Battle of Stock Photography vs Negative Social Stereotypes 123RF Blog - Old woman as a biker, women empowerment

A lot has been said about the way women have been represented in the media. From being stay home moms to working at lower ends of the corporate ladder, women have often played second fiddle to men. And the media has drilled this ideology into our minds.

However, it’s time to better represent women and give them the respect they deserve. So let’s celebrate women in power, with stock photography representations of them ruling the workforce and being their best independent self.

5. Challenging toxic masculinity

The Battle of Stock Photography vs Negative Social Stereotypes 123RF Blog - Man with flowers

While men have not faced the same level as discrimination as women, they have not been living comfortably either. Over the years, men have admitted to breaking down after failing to meet society’s strict expectations.

Hence leading to a spike in male suicide cases and mental health issues. However, the media has begun taking steps to rectify this, with Gillette being the latest top brand to address masculinity. In a bid to continue with this, stock photography too needs to step up and showcase men as emotional beings.

With continuous efforts form media outlets, it’s clear that negative social stereotypes can be tackled by the stock photography industry. And our specially curated likebox aims to do the same. Therefore, creating a diverse content library for better representations of each of our fluid self.