For those of you in the Female Freestyle Wrestling World that hope to continue to compete after college, here is another real life experience that Female Competition International (FCI) would like to share with you.
We wrote an article on a beautiful submission wrestler who previously had been used to promoting her powerful sexuality to sell her products and sessions. After interviewing her, once it was time to write the article we asked for pictures of her fully clothed.[adToAppearHere]
She was shocked and a little offended.
It took some time but we finally won her over by explaining that we feel that her male customers will actually begin to identify with her more emotionally if she protects her privacy but sells her interests and personality. If her and other female wrestler’s futures are based strictly upon their sex appeal then the aging process and the next youngest beauty will replace them.
FCI has been preaching this since we first began publishing in January of 2013. Apparently Madison Avenue is finally in agreement and there is a new movement towards Femvertising.
What is Femvertising?
Femvertising are ads that celebrate women and girls rather than objectify them.
In an October 3, 2014 article written by the talented writer Nina Bahadur for the Huffington Post, she explained ads that inspire and empower women may actually be making a difference, both to the way women feel about themselves and companies’ bottom lines.
The overall feel of the article is that women have a very positive response to articles featuring them in a positive and human light.[adToAppearHere]
A women’s lifestyle website, SheKnows polled 628 women about their thoughts on femvertising and how it impacted their purchasing. They found that 91 percent of respondents believe how women are portrayed in advertising has a direct impact on girls’ self-esteem, and 94 percent agree that portraying women as sex symbols in advertisements is harmful.
The summary of their study showed “femvertising” ads are well-received: 51 percent of women polled like pro-female ads because they believe they break down gender-equality barriers, and 71 percent of respondents think brands should be responsible for using advertising to promote positive messages to women and girls. The survey also showed that femvertising pays off for brands — 52 percent of women polled had purchased a product because they liked the way the ads portrayed women.
According to AdWeek, in speaking to other supporting facts that reaffirm the effectiveness of Femvertising the magazine cited:
- 51 percent of women liked pro-female ads because they felt it broke gender barriers. “Portray women as intelligent,” said a Baby Boomer working mom with a child over 18. “Truly think about the message of the commercial—so many commercials today have the message ‘our customers are idiots.’ Why would I go out of my way to buy from a company that doesn’t respect me? Don’t take cheap shots at anyone—men, women or children.”
- 4 out of 5 women thought it was important for younger generations to see a positive portrayal of women. An overwhelming majority felt that how women are seen in campaigns has a direct effect on girls’ self-esteem. “I’d like to see less Photo shopping of images so that young women and girls know what real women look like and have a realistic sense of beauty,” said one millennial mom.
- 71 percent said brands should be held responsible for how they use their advertising to promote positive messages about women—and 3 out of 5 women believed that any brand can be pro-women.
- 94 percent said that using women as sex symbols was harmful to the gender. “So much advertising that is targeted to women [has] the underlying message that being ‘sexually’ attractive is the ultimate benchmark of beauty and self-worth. … We need to expand ‘sexy’ to include more cerebral/emotional qualities: sense of humor, creativity, compassion, care etc.,” a Gen X woman said.
- 75 percent said they liked ads that featured everyday women, 19 percent said they don’t notice them and 6 percent said they didn’t like them at all. Said a millennial college student: “Be realistic when showing a woman in an ad, be conscientious about language and the dialogue between women and men, and women and women. Break gender barriers! Avoid social construction of gender. Don’t treat women as objects or portray them in any way that makes them less human.”
- Only half of the women who took the survey consider themselves feminists, but 89 percent felt that gender equality is a human rights issue.
Sincerity is very important. An innovative media site www.marketingpilgrim.com makes a very good point. “Now it’s time for a word of warning. The only thing worse than ignoring your female audience is pandering to them. If you marketing efforts come off as phony, you’re doomed. Authenticity is the watchword. Find a way to tell a real, young woman’s story as it relates to your product and you’ve got the makings of a viral, winner.”
Another media giant, Time Magazine has been reading and evaluating the Femvertising revolution and weighs with their two cents. “While some critics oppose using half-hearted tales of “empowerment” or pseudo-feminism to get women to buy more soap and beauty products, SheKnows found that most women it surveyed praised the strategy. But other than Dove, what brands do women remember as being “pro-female?” (92% were aware of at least one pro-female ad campaign.) When SheKnows asked what brands women think are “doing it right,” the top ten included: Nike, Hanes, Olay, Dove, Always, Pantene, Playtex, Covergirl, Underarmour, and Sears.”
At FCI, we feel that our female wrestling community is on the right track if there is recognition that messages that humanize and empower women will bring us closer to a larger mainstream audience to support our products.
We realize this is a cultural shift but as President John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling.com, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, femcompetitor.com, huffingtonpost.com, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.