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According to an article by IMAGE Magazine, 70% of women don’t feel they are represented on social media.

When flicking through social media, do you constantly find yourself thinking “where are they getting these women from?”, “None of these women look like me – or any other woman I know”? Well if you are, take comfort in knowing you are not alone in those thoughts.

Despite all the recent changes in advertising which tend to highlight plus size women or women with ‘curves’, we are still seeing a very airbrushed version of these women. Although they are beautiful, they don’t seem real. Real bodies, as John Legend would say, have ‘perfect imperfections’, such as scars, lumps & bumps, freckles, stretch marks and so on… as we HS patients know all too well.

Whose fault is this?

The thing is though, it isn’t necessarily the media publishers’ fault. To not breach Copywrite or GDPR laws, when looking for images for media you have a few options:

  1. Create your own photos – This can be very time-consuming and expensive and quite often still don’t compare to the quality of stock imagery.
  2. Use photos found online or on social media – You need the person’s permission and it can get a bit complicated or…
  3. Use stock imagery – By far the easiest option BUT it is quite limited in the types of images you can see… until now.

#SHOWUS Project by Dove

Dove, along with Getty Images and Girlgaze is setting out to change this. They are working together to create a library of images that will break beauty stereotypes.

The #ShowUs library which is available on Getty Images features over 5,000 photos of women from over 39 countries around the world. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, every image of the women featured in the library has been photographed by a woman, non-binary person or female-identifying photographer.

They have committed to promising there is no airbrushing or distortion of the photos. They are pure and untouched. A ‘vision of beauty’.

Furthermore, each of the individuals who have been photographed for the #ShowUs project has personally chosen their own tags or search descriptions. Meaning, they get to choose how they want to be seen by the world.

According to the stats from Getty Images, this is apparently what they want. According to the Image article, Getty Images, who is one of the largest stock image providers in the world, stated that searches for terms like “real people”, “diverse women” and “strong women” increased by a shocking, yet not surprising, average of 182% last year.

#SHOWUS Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Currently, this is what shows up when you search for Hidradenitis Suppurativa in Getty Images.

Getty Images shows zero results for hidradenitis suppurativa

Help us to change this by applying to be a part of the Dove #SHOWUS campaign. If you are up for it, you can submit your image here.



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