Lack of Diversity
One of the things that irks me is the lack of diverse representation in images.
If you take a look at the images that are used on websites, in ads, on posters, on billboards, the majority of the people used are white, thin, depicting heterosexual relationships, able bodied, and cisgender (etc.).
Take a look around. Chances are, if you live in a big city, especially in North America, those are not going to be the majority of people you are seeing.
So what gives?
When I need an image and I go to a stock photography site, I am continually frustrated (and appalled) by the lack of diversity there – of all kinds. Recently when I typed “brown person” into the search bar of one of those sites, a gingerbread man came up.
A gingerbread man! Are you kidding me?!
(Really, I’m serious!)
But my web designer tells me that professionals use other (professional-only) sites , which do have more diversity (I’ll take her word for it). So that means the images we see are a reflection of what the client wants – which makes me even angrier.
Quite frankly I’m puzzled: Why, as a business owner, would you want to leave out sections of the population by choosing images that don’t include them?
Representation and Inclusion
I’m imagining that in 2017 representation and inclusion are not novel concepts– but perhaps implementing them is?
When businesses use images in their ads, the people that see themselves in those ads are going to be most attracted to the product or service. Why? Because when we see ourselves represented, we feel a connection.
Yes, it’s that simple.
But we also have to be smart. This isn’t about throwing a Black person, or an Indigenous person, a person with a disability, a lesbian couple (etc) into the mix simply to make it look good.
Images are important – but they are only the tip of the iceberg – or the icing on the cake – when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
Interested in learning more?