Representation of all people and all family types is crucial if we want our children to grow up in an inclusive and accepting society.
What we see, and the media we consume, directly impacts how we feel about ourselves. If we can’t see ourselves reflected in the media we consume, how can we expect to feel good about ourselves? As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a same-sex parent to two girls, I’m often taken aback by the lack of representation for our families in online and print media.
I want my daughters to view themselves as strong, confident and equal members of society. I want them to know that their family is not an anomaly or something that is unworthy of equal representation. But if my children do not see other families like their own in the media and popular culture, how will this ever happen? This is probably the reason I’m such a strong advocate for diversity in social marketing.
And it’s not just LGBTQ+ people and families who are underrepresented. It’s across the board when it comes to minorities. It’s rare to see anything other than the heteronormative, white and traditionally ‘attractive’ reflected back from our screens.
We all grew up in a time where the picture of ‘normality’ was white, straight and non-disabled. Thankfully, more and more brands and organisations are recognising the need for inclusion and diversity. But it cannot just be tokenism or a marketing ploy. There needs to be a commitment to representing all people if we are to truly grow into a society where all children will be treated as equals.
So, what can we do? We can demand better. If we don’t hold brands and companies to account, how can we ever expect things to change?
Write to the marketers who are responsible for putting out this content. Tell them that your children deserve to live in a world where all children and all people are equally represented. Follow the creators and the brands who stand for diversity and inclusion. Unfollow those that don’t. Simple!
If you don’t see the diversity you want in your world, then do something about it.