The "Disappointed Woman Sitting In Bed" is the most succinct way to describe a popular stock photo image that shows a woman sitting on a bed, her face showing some emotion ranging from boredom, to disappointment, to disgust, with the sleeping or grimacing figure of a male in the background being the obvious source of her disappointment. As with any popular stock photo, there are a range of situations and figures possible: sometimes the woman is lying in bed, sometimes alone, sometimes the man and woman both look disappointed, sometimes the man is sitting on the edge of the bed. But the core image is of a disappointed woman in a heterosexual relationship.

We don't know what the woman is disappointed about. Since they are in bed, it could be poor sexual performance. But it could just as well be any one of another many male foibles: tossing a towel on the floor, buying non-organic pasta, making an insensitive comment about her little sister's weight gain---the entire point of the modern iconography of stock photos is that they are open to project whatever topic we wish on to them. Without knowing the details, we instantly subconsciously understand the emotions involved.

The couple will most likely be young, white, affluent, and heterosexual, although, as mentioned in the first paragraph, if you want to go browsing stock photos, you can finally find a subversion of any of the above. But be that is it may, the image is still mostly about a tacitly held belief, clear no matter how the figures are switched around: disdain and disappointment are key and instantly recognizable emotions for young (affluent) women, perhaps at the core of their identities, with the only respite being the pleasure that comes from fruit salads or laptops.

Also, I always wonder about stock photo models: I imagine a young woman coming home from the holidays, where a sweet and doting grandmother asks what type of artistic successes she has had. Shyly, and after some prodding, she takes out her portfolio. Her grandmother takes a look, and smiles "oh honey, we always knew those ballet and acting lessons would pay off!"

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