The Wellness Gallery is a project that engages South Australians of all ages to reflect on the concept of ageism in media and invites them to build together a positive image gallery that will be free-to-use by any individual or organisation that is struggling to source inclusive and realistic photos related to wellness and positive ageing in Australia.
A B O U T T H E P R O J E C T
Media imagery is a continuous reflection of societal practices and it influences daily interactions. Ageism is quite identifiable in the patterns that individuals are represented in the existing stock media imagery libraries. Ageing people are depicted in peripheral or minor roles, without positive attributes and often sad and weak, receiving help from younger individuals who dominate the image. In other occasions, imagery of ageing individuals presents them in a prejudiced way, while portraits tend to be exaggerated or distorted.
Additionally, a recent trend in stock photography depicts older people as young ones. These pictures appear to be positive but they in fact put a lot of pressure on the older onlooker to “look and feel young”.
Finally, as most of the available stock imagery online is produced in the USA, it does not represent the culturally diverse Australian society.
The Wellness Gallery project aims to contribute to a society that has moved beyond ageism in media by developing a free-to-use resource of authentic and inclusive stock images depicting wellness and positive ageing in Australia. Images will be available for direct download, be geographically and culturally relevant and free for all to use, including organisations in the sector and across the wider community. As images are used more in mainstream media, representation of ageing will begin to mirror the real experience of older people, showing images depicting a diversity of lifestyle choices and helping older people to feel more comfortable being their authentic selves.