Menopause: Empowering Better Representation

Collections / Our Collections
Catherine Ivill
1317227926
Jacqueline Bourke
May 24, 2021
We are thrilled to partner with Women in Sport to create a gallery of inspiring and relatable visuals that showcase the endless possibilities that sport can bring to women in mid‑life who have experienced or are experiencing perimenopause or menopause through an authentic and respectful lens. This gallery includes images and videos created solely by women—all visuals have been art‑directed, shot, produced and curated by an all‑female team— and are available on Getty Images as part of the Disrupt Aging® collectionVisuals have the power to make or break stereotypes. Inclusive images make people feel seen, included and accepted, so it has never been more important to produce and promote visuals which authentically represent women in midlife that disrupt and re‑define what aging looks like.

We know that mature women are leading increasingly multi‑dimensional lives, but this is not always reflected in visuals used in branding and advertising. With wellness and self‑care becoming an absolute necessity for all in a world affected by the Covid‑19 pandemic, we are also seeing customer searches for visuals depicting 'menopause' soar to +357% globally year on year, particularly in the last three months. It's time to challenge the limiting and damaging visual stereotypes of women in mid‑life experiencing hot flashes and sweats, and open out visual representation to show their real and active lives—in order to inspire more women into action.
Inclusive images make people feel seen, included and accepted, so it has never been more important to produce and promote visuals which authentically represent women in midlife.
Over the past two years, we have tracked consumer sentiment globally, surveying over 10,000+ people through Visual GPS, our insights platform which looks at the key factors affecting consumer decision‑making and how that impacts their visual preferences. Our data confirms that while nearly 9 in 10 women try to take care of themselves physically, only 4 in 10 take regular action (such as exercising, playing sports, or running), with the lowest rates amongst the 50+ age group. In addition, 76% of the Baby Boomer generation who have felt discriminated against said it was due to age.

Over the last five years, we have seen a shift from perfection to inclusion in the physical health stories our customers are downloading. There is a move away from showing perfect gym bodies to showing the reality of real people in their everyday homes looking after their physical health. However, this is not being reflected for women in mid‑life; visuals tend to feature ethereal, slim, yoga‑loving and calmly‑centered individuals who are predominantly white and affluent—or not at all.
The benefit for brands is clear: nearly 7 in 10 women prefer to buy from brands that represent people like themselves.
Whether you are a fitness provider, a sports brand or general lifestyle business, choosing visuals which authentically represent women at this life stage will help to breakdown damaging stereotypes, create a more inclusive visual landscape and ultimately lead to greater engagement from women in mid‑life. Remember, over 8 in 10 female consumers expect brands to be consistently committed to inclusivity and diversity in advertising. And the benefit for brands is clear: nearly 7 in 10 women prefer to buy from brands that represent people like themselves. It's more important than ever to ensure that women experiencing perimenopause or menopause feel empowered to participate in physical fitness and sport, and relatable visuals can help inspire them.
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