A critical analysis of the bullshit world of Brexit stock images 5 years ago

A critical analysis of the bullshit world of Brexit stock images

Let's just distract ourselves from the impending apocalypse for a moment.

Easily one of the worst things about Brexit is the absolute disgrace that the stock image industry has made of itself. It's very clear that their creatives were pulling these images straight out of their derrieres.


'How can we demonstrate Britain leaving the EU?', they asked. 'Dunno, maybe a signpost with both places pointing in different directions. Nailed it. Will we go for lunch?', they answered.

The world deserves better. Stock images have long been a laughing stock, but the time has come for that to change. We can do better, they can do better. Everyone can probably stop phoning it in if they just put their minds to it.

Here's a long overdue roasting of some of the shittest Brexit stock images we've seen. Brace yourself.



Respectfully, what the fuck is this? To demonstrate Britain's decision to leave the EU, we're all just going to cut our maps now, are we? The UK is still geographically in Europe. So is this a political statement? Shall I get my political scissors in that case? They're just like regular scissors except they don't glide very well on wrapping paper and also they're liars and determined to ruin everything.


Let's hone in on Northern Ireland for a second. What's happened here is it has apparently turned into Yugoslavia, as the flag suggests, so that's great. Melania Trump was born in Yugoslavia, as was Gerry Adams by the looks of things. Not to worry, once you cut both Britain and the entirety of Ireland (including New Yugoslavia), it'll long be forgotten. Wonder where we're moving to? I suggest somewhere warmer and with less morons, but that's probably just me.

I'd also like to go to town on the suggested cutting line, if I may. Those lines are jagged as heck, making the act of cutting it out incredibly challenging. In these worrying and uncertain times, surely they could've indulged us some simplicity, maybe a pre-perforated design? Stock image makers are scum.




What in the fuck is going on here? Two 'rustic' crates are poorly photoshopped into the ocean. Location undisclosed, obviously. Probably the worst part about this particular stock image is that my mind is wandering and I've just decided there's a litter of puppies in the Britain box. Not sure why, that's just where I've ended up. They're probably going to drown, just like the rest of us.

Depending on the craftsmanship of the crates, they could float for quite some time. Depending on the strength of the ocean currents, they might stay together for hundreds of miles. They may never separate, who can say? Maybe there's a large quantity of narcotics in the crates, I'd photoshop them in if I could be arsed.

It feels a bit like the clouds are trying to say something here too, probably 'Why are stock images so shit?'. I agree, clouds. You deserve better. You could've been demonstrating the importance of water safety, yet here you are, shielding two rustic crates from the sunlight. You deserve an apology. We all do.




Boggle has gone to shit! Having played the riveting game at least five times, I am fully qualified to identify those as Boggle dice. However, Boggle dice have different letters on each side, so these stock image dicks have altered the Boggle dice. I'll repeat that, THEY HAVE ALTERED THE BOGGLE DICE. Have you ever in your life wanted to get a point across so badly that altering Boggle dice became an option?

The flag fluttering in the background is a pathetic attempt at poignancy as well. Must be very windy in that blatantly indoors Boggle studio. Nobody plays Boggle with the windows open, you play it in a very dark room lit only by candlelight and your parents' disappointment at your life decisions that have led you to this exact point.

Not to harp on about the Boggle aspect further, but let's be real, Boggle trays are 4x4, so the first or last two letters of Brexit should be on a separate line to truly represent Boggle here. Fun fact: The guy that invented Boggle is called Alan Turoff and the origins of his surname come from Belarus, so this is overall just very ironic and tragic at the same time.



This one takes the title for 'Most Batshit Brexit Stock Image' and I'm more than happy to allow it. Here's how I'm pretty certain this idea came about:

"John, we need to make a stock image for Brexit immediately!"

"Sure, maybe just the two flags?"

"FFS John, think outside the box. You haven't done that since your wife left you"

"She used to love feeding the ducks"

"DUCKS! BRILLIANT! Rubber, 7x4 formation, one leaving the pack"

"Susan was allergic to rubber"


I'd also like to query why the departing duck is wearing a fucking party hat. He's not leaving the group to go eat Party Rings until he pukes from excitement at the sight of a clown. The British duck is supposed to be leaving the EU. There's a sadness in his eyes, he doesn't know what danger lies ahead. They might have to rename Petit Filous for fuck's sake.

It's really irritating to see that the duck second row from the back, second from the right is staring straight at the departing duck. He know what's up, he knows that poor duck was duped by morons. Still, at least he's got 26 mates to chill with going forward. Probably has a stock image shoot with a sexy model in a bath coming up later as well, the horny git.



This is a little too much like a promotional poster for a Jason Bourne movie to be taken seriously. 'The UnBourne', it's probably going to be called. A gripping tale of Jason Bourne's death.... or is it? He fakes his own death to get the FBI off his tail for a hot second, only to emerge as one of the mourners at the funeral in the closing moments of the movie, securing another five films in the franchise.

Seriously, this stock image is shite. The reflection of sun on the man's hand doesn't match the clouds above. There isn't a single gap in them, we're not idiots, stock image makers, so please stop treating us as such. Is this supposed to be pathetic fallacy? The weather is upset so it decides to rain in response to Britain's decision to leave the EU? Grow up. We all know God decides the weather.

The model looks a bit like Edward Norton too. I'm pretty sure the main and only criteria for being a stock image model is to not look like anyone famous, otherwise the internet will rip you to shit. 'Edward Norton's really struggled since Fight Club', they'll tweet. Fuck you, Ed is a gift and he was sublime in Birdman. How else did he end up OSCAR NOMINATED, imaginary troll? Exactly. He basically won that Oscar because Jared Leto doesn't really count as a person.



First place in the World Cup of Shit Brexit Stock Images goes to this masterpiece. I could stare at it for twelve years and still be no closer to determining what the heck is going on here.

I have a string of questions that need answering:

  • Why is the man so formally dressed to eat cake?
  • Why didn't the cake maker arrange the stars in a slightly smaller circle so they all would've fit?
  • Why are there only ten candles?
  • Why is there squirty cream, aka the devil's jizz, on top of the cake?
  • Has nobody told this man that a button down shirt completely informalises a suit?
  • Why aren't his sleeves buttoned?
  • Did he blow the candles out after they took the photograph? If not, who did?
  • Did they ever eat the cake - is it even a real cake?
  • Who ordered the cake? Surely the baker had several follow-up questions?
  • Is the man happy, just generally?

Until such time as those questions are answered, there's very little else I can add to the roasting of this particular stock image, other than Ian McKellan's career has gone to shit, as has the stock image industry. Thank you.