NY Mag’s The Cut has put together a series of photos culled from their stock image service using keywords like “working woman,” “empowered female” and “girl power.” We often need illustrations for stories about women, and sometimes we turn to stock photography to meet those needs.
We know that stock photography is designed to trade in cliches; but after searching for working woman and turning up umpteen images of multi-ethnic women examining X-rays, we realized that the world of stock-photo tropes is richer and weirder than we had imagined. If this is how feminism looks to the world, maybe what a woman really needs is a stock agency of one’s own.
Apparently, this is how to be a successful woman in today’s working world:
First, equip yourself with a set of red boxing gloves while wearing, of course, business attire
Grow a few more sets of arms to carry the things you’ll need, like really large calculators and a small globe
Don’t forget to review those X-Rays
All of them.
You’re going to need a folder to put those X-Rays in:
Or a bunch of them
All the Folders
And just climb up the ones that don’t fit, and then a mountain after that
Climb some more
And in case the metaphor wasn’t obvious:
And then collapse all over the damn place because you’ve been doing all that climbing
Don’t worry though you made it
And while things look good up here…
It’s now time to take on the real problem. These tools might look useful…
…but they’re not womanly enough. So use that saw to do your nails (those mountains!) because of course, that’s how it’s done
And because they need to look good when you’re stomping all those men with your heels