LIVING
02/11/2014 12:07 EST

Women's Stock Photography Just Got A Big Hand From Sheryl Sandberg

Anyone who's worked with stock photography in any capacity can likely attest to a lack of great pictures of women that aren't stereotypical. In fact, one of our favourite ever viral articles online came to us via the Hairpin with just five words written within it: Women Laughing Alone With Salad.

It is literally easier to find a stock photograph of a woman weighing the difference between a cookie or an apple than to find one of a woman (let alone a non-white woman) operating a barbecue properly. And seriously, which of these two scenarios tends to actually happen in real life?

But that's all hopefully changing with the help of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Getty Images, who have created the Lean In Collection, "a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them," according to the website. Named for Sandberg's book of the same title, a portion of proceeds from the collection will go towards creating, well, more of the same kind of pictures. The special collection, which currently has 2,500 images, requires additional purchasing by companies currently using Getty.

So why should this matter to an average citizen who, unlike online editors, never have to search through a database of pictures in their daily lives? Well, those stock pictures show up more often than you might think — like in approximately 250 ads we see each day. And if the images that permeate are of women doing things that women actually do, instead of things a photographer thinks they do, society might just feel slightly more even.

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