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The photo industry is changing. These 10 beautiful images show why that's a good thing.

Women of color are incredible. This company is making sure the world knows that too.

When Getty Images saw there wasn't enough positive images of women of color, they put their creativity into action.

Currently, more than 80% of photographers are white. Often criticized as only being accessible to the elite, white, and wealthy, the art community has struggled to make careers in the arts lucrative and sustainable for creatives that come from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Getty Images has spent years trying to change that.

"We've always been committed to making sure that the emerging minority photographers have the financial support they need to do their work," says Tristen Norman, head of creative insights and planning at Getty Images. "But beyond that, we're also committed to producing the right content and working with our incredibly large contributor community to do so."


Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

Getty Images is amplifying beautiful imagery of diverse communities by working to put women of color both in front of and behind the camera.

To grapple with the very real glass ceiling in the art community — particularly in film and photography — that often impedes artists of color from pursuing the arts full time, Getty created two fellowships to get more women of color behind the camera. The Women Photograph Grant and the Array Grant are designed to foster and elevate female photojournalists from underrepresented communities.

Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

"We're acknowledging our issues out loud, and we're taking those steps to correct the issues," Norman explains. "I'm pumped about the grant programs as they represent a more formal step that we're taking to address these challenges, specifically those for underrepresented communities of color that experience a lot of systemic and economic and inequities."

Photo by Rochelle Brock/Refinery29 for Getty Images.

One of the staff photographers currently carrying out the mission toward more inclusive artwork is photographer Naila Ruechel.

Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

Ruechel has created stunning, bold, and bright images of women of color — a huge step toward representation and inclusion in the photojournalism industry.

"I think image making is a powerful tool that can really influence society," Ruechel says. "If we don't support diversity, we risk becoming more and more narrow-minded. We need diverse voices to broaden our understanding and acceptance of each other."

Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

Ruechel's work serves as a powerful counternarrative to years of women of color being told they don't meet society's standards of beauty and femininity. Unsatisfied with black identity constantly being tied to slavery, she has advocated for photojournalism that shows women of color in beautiful, nuanced ways.

To achieve this goal, she knows that it requires putting women of color in front of and behind the camera to translate those diverse stories to a series of photos.

"I think if we demystify groups that are considered 'different,' we will encourage people to simply look at each other as what we are — humans," Ruechel says. "What I'm trying to achieve with my work is to humanize groups of people whose image have been largely misused, misrepresented, and/or underrepresented."

The industry's pervasive misrepresentations come from a fraught history between white photographers and communities of color.

For decades, women of color have largely been ignored in the high-fashion and high-art industries. Considering them subhuman or lesser-than, many major media companies have often failed to showcase indigenous communities and people of color in normal, human ways, instead catering to stereotypical tropes and problematic typecasts to appeal to antiquated ideas of what it means to be a person of color.

Photo by Caroline Tompkins/Refinery29 for Getty Images.

Most recently, National Geographic became one of the first mainstream media publications to formally apologize for these depictions. In an article titled "For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It," editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg called for much-need changes in visual depictions of people of color:

"I want a future editor of National Geographic to look back at our coverage with pride — not only about the stories we decided to tell and how we told them but about the diverse group of writers, editors, and photographers behind the work."

Getty has worked to create an archive of photos of strong, empowered women throughout multiple decades of history, and it wants to take its commitment to inclusion even further.

Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

"The very fact someone like me — a black woman with a multitude of other intersecting identities — has joined the creative team at Getty Images is a good indication that things are moving in the right direction within the industry," Norman explains. "That an organization of this size and visibility is so committed to ensuring that diverse talent is shaping their creative both inside and out is an incredible step in the right direction. There's still so much work to do, but the opening and welcoming of my seat and many others at the table is powerful and important."

Photo by Naila Ruechel/Getty Images.

Artwork and photojournalism aren't the only ways to shift the images that people see and the way they think.

A recent British study found that minority groups are represented in less than 20% of brand campaigns.

John Antoniello, a creative director at Sapientrazorfish, thinks that advertising may be one way to continue moving this mission forward. Having worked for various social awareness campaigns, such as HeForShe and Partnership for Drug Free America, Antoniello is aware of just how powerful a role marketing can play in getting society to value diverse imagery.

"I think, at large, the advertising industry is kind of now starting to make this turn, and I think it's going to be interesting to see how these large brands deal with this sort of new world that we live in," Antoniello says. "We have so many new companies and startups that are honing in on not only the kinds of people that they want to talk to but also the values that they stand for."

Photo by Stephanie Nnamani/Digital Vision/Getty Images.

Ruechel, Norman, and Antoniello make one thing very clear: It takes a lot of key players with similar values to make real progress.

When creating diverse imagery is both a priority and a value, we get closer to normalizing this type of imagery for mass audiences.

Photo by Renell Medrano/Refinery29 for Getty Images.

When organizations challenge themselves to increase diversity in front of and behind the camera, they signal that our ideas of beauty, culture, and everyday life need to include the experiences of all people.

When we do this, not only do we get beautiful art, we also create media that is representative of our full, incredible society.

We weren't paid to write this post. (We would tell you if we were!) We just think the work that Getty Images is doing is important and very cool.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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