Unit 3: Questioning images: representation and critical visual literacy

Activity 3: Challenging visual stereotypes

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Learning Objectives

  • To develop your ability to identify non-stereotypical images of women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, elderly people and disabled people.

Resources needed

  • Access to the internet and a colour printer (alternatively, newspapers and magazines can be used for this activity)
  • A1 paper sheet, scissors, glue stick and felt-tip pens


Exercise 1: Going beyond stereotypical images 

Before you start this exercise, please read The world needs more photos that challenge stereotypes and focus on the main points of this article, especially the impact commercial photographs have on the representation of different groups in society. 

Now, search for non-steretotypical images of women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, elderly people, and people with disabilities on the internet, especially on stock photography sites (e.g. Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Getty Images, iStock, Stocksy, Depositphotos, Alamy). Please complete the table with a short description of the photos you found. 

Non-steretotypical images of…Descriptions
People of colour
LGBTQ+ people
People with disabilities

Try to find three images for each group of people and save them on your desktop or laptop.

Make a collage with these images. You can add some text as well.

To finish this exercise, look at the final product and think of ways of challenging stereotypes at the visual level. You may want to consider the following question:

If you were to create non-stereotypical images of any of the groups mentioned above, what aspects would you (not) include in your pictures?

Activity completed!

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