What Getty's 'Lean In Collection' Taught Us About Modern Women

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Photo by Jorge Rivas / Fusion

Getty Images announced this week that they’re collaborating with LeanIn.org to create a collection of stock photos that revolve around modern, empowered women.

The plethora of skinny white girls holding their lunches on stock photo sites gave rise to memes like “Women Laughing Alone With Salad.” The “Lean In Collection” aims to change that by providing images of women doing something other than eating greens, celebrating Thanksgiving, kissing their computer, doing yoga in business clothes, or other stock photo cliches.

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Pam Grossman, Getty's director of visual trends, said this project is part of their efforts to "visualize a new world" of stock photography.

"I know that sounds very grand, but it's absolutely true. This is a real passion project for us," Grossman told Mashable. In addition to the new photos, Getty is offering two new grants that reward photographers for positively portraying women.

The Lean In Collection succeeds in showcasing a more diverse and real depiction of women. There are women of color, women of size, disabled women, women in same-sex relationships and older women featured prominently. But after reviewing all 2,500 of them (Getty says they’ll add new ones every month), we noticed there are still some trends that have the potential to become their own memes. Since the images are way too expensive for us to license all of them, we’ve gone a step further and recreated them. Without further ado:

1. Woman jogging at sunset

You can see our version above. Seen on Getty: here, here and here

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Sure, you could go for a run while the sun is still up. But where’s the fun in that? Today’s woman doesn’t indulge in a run until she’s completed a 10-hour workday.

2. Competent Woman Alone at Startup

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Seen: here, here and here

Today’s modern woman isn’t afraid to quit her job and start her own business. She can go it alone — and apparently, she’s alone quite a lot. Maybe by the next round of stock photos, Ms. Startup will have hired an intern.

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3. Woman Politely Tolerating Her Male Coworkers

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Seen: here, here and here

Before she leaves the 9-5 grind behind forever to work alone at her own business, the Leaning In woman must deal with the inevitable shortcomings of her male colleagues.

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4. Still Life with Smartphone

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Seen: here, here and here

Whether it’s a group selfie with her girlfriends or a pensive email check at her favorite coffee shop, today’s woman is attached to her smartphone and tablet. Getty doesn’t let you forget it.

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5. Mature Woman Staring Off Into Space

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Seen: here, here and here. And here and here and here. Also here. This one was pretty popular.

Can women over the age of 60 look directly into a camera lens? We don’t know, and neither does Getty.

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