Canva wants to evoke a much-needed change within stock imagery. Think of the generic marketing images you see promoting spas—often they are young, thin, Caucasian, and able-bodied people. In some cases, stock imagery has become so unrealistic that it has become the subject of numerous thought pieces and the butt of many jokes. This is why Canva, an online graphics and marketing development site, launched its new Natural Women imagery collection. The collection celebrates women in their natural state, in particular, women who are usually excluded from the media’s representation of natural beauty.
Despite the change of female representation sparked by the Me Too and Times Up movements, according to Canva, in 2017 the most commonly-seen models in stock photos were still young, still Caucasian, and still in possession of the most commercially-prized requirements: flawless skin, slim physiques, and long, flowing hair. With that in mind, Canva teamed up with photographers from across the globe to capture and curate an exclusive collection of stock photos that authentically depict the women they are meant to reflect.
Throughout the collection, you won’t find overly-photoshopped images that perpetuate traditional stereotypes. Instead, you’ll discover a collection of everyday women whose personal stories and experience challenge gender norms and societal beauty standards. Among the women featured include a woman with Down Syndrome who successfully competes in pageants and is also an aspiring model; a two-time cancer survivor who considers her hair-loss from chemotherapy to be the mark of a fighter; and a woman born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, who shared with Canva that being part of the natural Women Collection helped her recognize her body’s own beauty, grandeur, and strength.