As body image, sex, relationships and gender issues come to the fore, blogs and news sites are quitting stock photo providers such as Getty. The problem: most of the material there touching upon these matters are packed with stupid, stereotypical pantomime caricatures.
A woman holding a power drill looking confused. A woman on a beach in a skimpy bikini making a suggestive face. A woman sitting, in a wedding dress, on top of a groom, choking him. A woman with a fresh blowout and a face full of makeup doing crunches at the gym while grinning widely, clearly having the time of her life…
Frustration over how women in stock photography are portrayed has only been amplified in recent years; we've all seen The Hairpin's now-iconic photo essay Women Laughing Alone with Salad. These kinds of critiques have become commonplace as editors doing photo research for, say, a story about feminism can only find images of women in bad suits climbing ladders. But instead of waiting for stock photography companies to change their editorial policies — which some are indeed starting to do — sites like Bustle are taking matters into their own hands.
A big problem with stock art is the pervasive porn-style humor: a unfunny jokiness that seems intended to excuse what it is, but only makes it even less appropriate.