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Representation and inclusion matter. Not just for us, but for our kids

I'm the senior site editor at SheKnows.com.

The media has a responsibility to show women of every race, size, age and ethnicity

When advertisers only show certain types of people, they alienate everyone else. This is why we need more diverse people in all media.

We need to see ourselves reflected in the media, no matter how old we are, what gender we are, what race we are and where we come from.

Not only for us but for our children too.

In a survey on Femvertising we conducted last year, 71 percent of those surveyed felt brands should be held responsible for using their ads to promote positive messages to women and girls. Television shows need to portray people who look like us, no matter what we look like. And magazine covers need to show that beauty can be found in every person.

This issue doesn't just affect women. Men and boys also need to see themselves represented in the media with honesty because gender stereotypes are harmful to men and boys as well. It's time the media that surrounds us is a representation of who we are and what we look like.

Anything else is just false advertising.

"When we only show certain types of images, it almost invalidates everyone else. It's saying that the rest of America, the 99.9 percent of America that doesn't fit into this particular way of looking is somehow invalid."

- Kathryn Finney, founder digitalundivided

Because we believe so strongly in promoting diversity and celebrating brands that also care about these initiatives, SheKnows Media is proud to announce our first ever #Femvertising Awards, to honor brands that are challenging gender stereotypes by building awareness-generating, pro-female messages and images into ads that target women.

Brands and agencies of all sizes and across all industries who are creating campaigns that champion this generation of women and the next are encouraged to submit their work. The no-cost Call for Entries will remain open until April 28, and finalists will be announced on May 15. On May 18, SheKnows Media will let the public cast their vote for their favorite pro-female campaigns from among the award finalists. Winners of the inaugural #Femvertising Awards will be revealed during the hallmark Voices of the Year ceremony at #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us, the world’s largest celebration of women content creators that draws more than 3,500 social media influencers, entrepreneurs, content creators, brand executives and industry luminaries. #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us will take place July 16-18 in New York City. Panel of Judges Includes Lean In, 3% Conference, ForbesWoman, and The Clinton Foundation.

Kat Gordon, Founder of the 3% Conference, said, “Women are the most important consumer group marketers have ever encountered in terms of influence and social sharing. Brands that are building deeper and more meaningful connections through ads that celebrate and inspire women win with all consumers – including an increasing number of men who see the value of gender equality. As an advertising creative director, I take this responsibility very seriously and am proud to invite other media-makers to submit their work for the #Femvertising Awards.”

You can submit your entry for the Femvertising Awards here.

More on Femvertising

SheKnows Media hosts Femvertising panel at Ad Week
Femvertising ads are empowering women, and making brands money
The 37 impressive leaders of the BlogHer Advisory board

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