We are all looking for role models. Women – we need someone to inspire us, someone to show us that we can achieve our dreams, fight the good fight, and remind us every day the value of our worth as women. More than ever, women are stepping out of their comfort zones and opening new businesses, taking risks and fighting for love in their personal relationships. They are being vocal about the media and its portrayal of women, about businesses that degrade them while still make money off them and finally realizing they have been and are the heart and soul of all our communities.
Women are everything and instead of downplaying any of their attributes, they are ready to tell the world about it. They are cooks, mothers, wives, daughters, domestic engineers, tear wipers, hand holders, motivators, teachers, businesswomen, professionals, athletes, leaders.
They are far more than what Real Housewives show the world, far more than what advertising agencies show us in Glamour or Cosmopolitan or even Redbook or Time.
They are the smartest consumer of multi- billion dollar industries around the globe. These ladies purchase dollars provide jobs, growth and sustainability to nations. Let us face it – women are ready to own their power.
In this reality, which women leaders are reminding us of this necessary truth?. Who are the real role models for us? Who are the ones that accept women for who they are and think higher of them in the media?
It seems the media is trying to figure it out as well. It’s the million dollar question. Every national television broadcasting channel is trying to find a perfect match for its over 20 million consumer base. They are offering exciting topics, new sets to persuade women consumers that they have what they need.
Oprah gave us a lifetime of conversations, a lifetime example of dreaming big and doing the work every day by coming into our living rooms. She recently launched OWN with her own vision and it seems believes what all women are slowly realizing – there is more to life. OWN has done an excellent job in elevating women’s vision of themselves.
Bravo wants to convince women that reality TV is what they need every day all the time and nationally syndicated channels are looking for a host to engage stay-at-home moms.
We saw Katie Couric, the intelligent professional connecting with women on topics that really matter. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to sustain her viewers and she will bid aideu in June.
Queen Latifah has also embraced television, as always she has broken barriers and brought her unique charm, power and wit to daytime and as a result we will see her on the air for another year.
This week, we found out the next casualty will be Bethanny Frankel, a brilliant businesswoman who was hired for her frank, straight up talk but perhaps proved to be not a good model for the channels executives.
This week we also watched NBC’s next talk show host and tv personality Meredith Vieira embrace the Olympics as the first female head anchor for the Olympics. I applaud her as this is brilliant and long overdue.
Ellen has continued to be the voice of wit, sincere conversation and a great entertainer.
One thing is for sure, the media recognizes it needs women and that women need role models because women have A LOT on their plate. It is nice to have guidance to be able to balance it all.
But here is the truth, no marketing strategy can do an analysis and come up with the role model that is chosen based on demographics and market analysis. Surprising to television execs I am sure.
The reality is women are still not one dimensional. Even in 2014.
Do Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Brokaw etc. Steve Harvey fit into a one-dimensional audience?
Contrary to many marketing experts in the media women are not sitting in front of televisions for hours wanting to hear gossip, conflict and subpar television.
Women are busy, they are thinkers, multi-taskers and doers.
So yes, they will love Katie, get elevated with Oprah, talk frank with Bethanny, laugh with Queen Latifah and root for on Meredith, dance with Ellen and occasionally indulge in guilty pleasure through reality television.
In a nutshell, women need role models that remind them of themselves, the real self. The sooner broadcast channels realize the jackpot – substantive content that speaks to the intelligence and diversity of interests of women – the sooner we will have a role model that represents the value of the audience.
Women want to make their life better, grow their families and learn more every day. We need to see a face of honesty not market based content that devalues our worth.
We hope as television execs are going through their rolodex in order to find the new face of women, they look for a face that looks like our mirrors and a bio that reads like the ones on our laptops – diverse, bold, witty, creative, inspiring, honest and a mix of personal and professional and intelligence.
Most of all, we hope that the media thinks more of women and chooses to show them as they are and should be, elevated and powerful.