Dove and Getty create #ShowUs to bust beauty stereotypes

Who: Dove, Getty Images and Girlgaze

What: “Project #ShowUs,” a new stock photo library with more than 5,000 images created by women and non-binary people.

When & Where: The ShowUs library is live now at Getty Images.

How: The images were shot by 116 Girlgaze photographers in 39 countries, with each person photographed choosing their own search description and tags, “allowing them to define their beauty.” Girlgaze is a network of 200,000 female-identifying and non-binary creatives from around the world.

Why: Because most women still feel like media and advertising impose unrealistic beauty standards that are harmful to women. #ShowUs is about women and non-binary individuals defining beauty and providing more representative images to be used in media and advertising.

The Message: This fits perfectly with Dove’s long-standing “Real Beauty” positioning (now 15 years old). Dove is saying that while it has been committed to healthier definitions of beauty and portrayals of women, it wants other brands to join them. “[W]e cannot make the systemic change we need alone,” said Sophie Galvani, global vice-president of Dove, in a release. “Hence Project #ShowUs—we have spent over a year creating the world’s largest image bank of over 5,000 beauty images breaking beauty stereotypes, and we are now inviting media and advertisers to license the images and join us to take real tangible action.”

Numbers: Dove research found that 70% of women feel unrepresented in media and advertising, and feel pressured to meet an unrealistic standards “contributing to an appearance anxiety epidemic.” In terms of Canada-specific data, 73% of women believe if media were more representative, women would feel better about themselves.

Quote: “Project #ShowUs is the result of real women demanding representation in an industry that often dictates the very image we have of ourselves. In Canada, we’re lucky to live in a diverse, multicultural environment made richer by the contributions of women who have complex stories and voices that insist on being heard,” said Leslie Golts, marketing lead, Dove Canada.

David Brown