Project #ShowUs at Cannes Lions

Collections / Our Collections
Isabella Dias
Rebecca Swift
Jul 25, 2019
It’s been a few weeks since the buzz of Cannes Lions has died down, but much of the dialogue and insights shared are still reverberating with me today. Yachts, parties, and rose aside, Cannes Lions 2019 was the year when talk converted to action, with key themes and conversations centering around diversity and inclusion.

What was very clear is that equality, inclusivity, and diversity aren’t just buzzwords anymore, they’re business imperatives. This year Cannes Lions updated its judging guidelines with jury members also asked to consider whether the work represents stereotypical portrayals of gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability or other biases in order to help address the portrayal and endurance of harmful stereotypes in advertising and content.

At Getty Images, we share this belief that creativity can drive positive societal change by eradicating harmful stereotypes and our Silver Glass Lion win for Project #ShowUs is recognition for the action Getty Images, Dove, Girlgaze and Publicis Sapient have taken to try and shatter beauty stereotypes.
Equality, inclusivity, and diversity aren’t just buzzwords anymore, they’re business imperatives.
It was also the focus of the keynote panel I was a part of at Cannes Lions – Time to Step Up: Smashing Beauty Stereotypes – along with our partners at Dove, Girlgaze and Shonda Rhimes, one of the most successful and impactful storytellers of this generation. And that was why we were there at Cannes Lions because the time is right for all of us in the industry to quite literally step up and change the way that women and non‑binary individuals are shown across the media.

We all know that in each area of the world there is an ‘ideal’ of beauty, whether it be blonde and skinny or pale with dark hair, women are bombarded day in day out by media, from when they’re girls on how they think they should look. In fact, this is so damaging that women aren’t stepping up and saying or doing what they want in life. It has to stop.
We deserve authentic representation that reflects the beauty in our uniqueness and variety as opposed to the stereotypes the industry has continued to attempt forcing upon us. Our partners at Dove commissioned research earlier this year that found 67% of US women are calling for brands to step up and start taking responsibility for the stock imagery they use in their adverts.

Previously I’ve discussed how powerful the Project #ShowUs collection has the potential to be. Today it’s clear to me, that we’ve reached a pivotal moment globally where women are saying enough is enough; they need to be authentically represented and it needs to happen now. Brands shouldn’t be scared about losing profits by showing real diversity, it works! Consumers respond to it, and they respect brands so they buy more of their products when they recognize a brand doing good.
Brands shouldn’t be scared about losing profits by showing real diversity, it works!
Getty Images has been creating this authentic imagery since 2014, so why, if the choices are out there, is the industry still lagging? In general, women have come so far in the last 100 years, but more than ever in the past couple of years with #MeToo. But we have a duty to ensure that the generations that follow don’t have to face the adversity that we have, and it starts with you.

So I want to pose the question to you all: will you step up in support of this incredible project and #ShowUs the change that is needed across the industry?
The Disability Collection