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The See Her project seeks to improve the representation of women. Photo: Depositphotos
The See Her project seeks to improve the representation of women. Photo: Depositphotos

Guide to improve representation of Latinas in the media is released

The Association of National Advertisers and Telemundo teamed up to publish a manual to avoid stereotyping Latinas.

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Five basic questions are the starting point to find out if Latinas are well represented. From advertising and marketing campaigns to TV shows, the guide aims to open a dialogue among creatives as they think about the characters in their stories. 

This year, the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) See Her movement and NBCUniversal Telemundo partnered to encourage more Hispanic women and girls to see themselves authentically reflected in media content.

"The guide is intended to serve as a starting point to help illuminate the ample opportunities for authentic and more nuanced representation of Latinas, and to help storytellers be aware of blind spots and potential unconscious biases," the document states.

The initial questions are deepening, and the basic idea of the project is for creatives to find new ways to represent Latinas in stories, whether they are TV shows, news stories, or even advertising spots in any medium. 

  • Does the story include a Latina in a significant role?
  • Does the story directly address or disprove stereotypes about Latinas, allowing the audience to see them with complexity and authenticity?
  • Does the story generate a versatile view of Latina beauty?
  • Are Latinas represented in the creative and directing teams?
  • If all Latina characters were completely eliminated from the story, would it be inconsequential to the plot?

This is not the first guide produced by the ANA. The concern around gender bias by the Association began in 2016. The guide is a continuation of the Association's SEE HER project. The first was to respond to the lack of representation of women. The second part of the project was focused on the representation of black women in the media, at that time the ANA chose Harpo, Oprah Winfrey's producer. 

In the country, one in five women are Latinas, but their space in the media in front of and behind the cameras is much lower, so this guide aims to help creatives and decision makers to include Latinas in their stories, "understanding who Latinas are," says Christina Kolbjornsen, Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate and External Affairs, at NBC Telemundo

For Kolbjorsen the most important thing is that this document cannot replace the place of Latinas and Latinas where decisions are made, "the guide is not a substitute for not having Latinas at the table," she explains, because that is precisely the work that needs to be done, to get Latinas to occupy these spaces to achieve representation. 

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