By: The Trio at Las Peregrinas
Now, I don’t know about you, but I personally know some really great, white, well-toned women. But. White, buff women aren’t the only people I know! And I am willing to bet it’s not the only kind of people you know (and serve) either. It’s also not the only kind of people I want to see represented on websites anymore. Sadly, photography in most of our commonly used stock photo sites is still largely based on some crazy idea that those images are all that will “sell.” (sigh) Let’s support the stock photo sites that are more inclusive and diverse, and use our platforms to show that there’s more to advertising than appealing to just one demographic.
For me this comes down to one thing. Marketing needs to reflect reality. Reality is that we all look different, are different, and have different values and desires, and they are all valuable. If you are appealing to actual human beings and are including images other than yourself, then having an honest reflection of what our society looks like on your site and across your marketing is no longer an option. Nor something you can pretend isn’t important.
Years ago, I worked on a virtual team where the whole creative team was white people. The business owner was brown. Her clientele was quite diverse. But her designer kept building sales pages with what I call ‘white women laughing and eating yogurt.’ I ended up giving a note to the designer, “hey man, the business owner is a woman of color, as are many of her clients. Also, none of them are in college. Replace these photos with images that brown and black people can see themselves in, and that middle aged women can see themselves in.”
So we need to absolutely think about representing people of different races and ethnicities – especially if you are a person who happens to be white — but also give thought to other groups of people who routinely get marginalized in the media. Older people. Queer people. People with disabilities. People of different shapes and sizes. People working together, even! It’s funny how sterile many images of success show people – usually white dudes, usually in a white shirt and navy blazer, usually named Chad or Brian – alone. Or skinny white women with long blonde hair and big knockers in high heels in front of a chateau. Nothing against those people as people, but it’s a big world, and there’s plenty of room for the rest of us. Let our websites represent that!
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