The internet LOLed in January about a collection of stock photographs, put together at Hairpin, featuring women laughing alone with salad.  Stock photographs are pictures made available by photographers for a fee. Any marketer or web designer who doesn’t want or can’t afford to hire a photographer for their specific project can just use a stock photo.  The supply of stock photos, then, can sometimes tell us something funny about our cultural milieu.  See also mocking stock photography.

I argued that the happy salad-eating women reflected the fact that today we sell products with desire instead of necessity.  What does Hairpin’s newly-identified trend in stock photography tell us about marketing in America?

More at Hairpin.  Thanks to Zeyne P. and Carolyn C. for the link!

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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