#BlogHer17: Frank Talk By and For Women (and Brands)

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BlogHer 2017

#BlogHer17 opens its doors today (June 22) in Orlando, Florida. Produced by SheKnows Media, the three-day conference is Mecca for women content creators and entrepreneurs.

SheKnows Media is a top leading women’s lifestyle digital media company that averages 60 million unique visitors per month and reaches more than 300 million social media fans and followers. Their portfolio includes SheKnows.com, BlogHer.com, STYLECASTER.com and HelloFlo.

In addition to bringing together women who blog and/or want to use social and digital media tools such as vlogging and podcasting to grow their businesses, the conference is a place for attendees to connect, network and get support and get inspired, including on topics such as their own health and wellness.

A pre-conference study by SheKnows surveyed 800 women on “Life After Baby,” and found that 67% of new moms experienced fatigue, and 90% want sleep more than sex. What’s more, 81% said they are surprised at how confident they became after having a child.

“The anticipation women feel ahead of delivering their first baby is typically greater than the reality,” explained SheKnows Media Chief Revenue Officer Samantha Skey. “Much of the anxiety is focused on the birthing process and the infant’s health. Once they are over that hurdle they do have a strong degree of relief.”

Collaborating with HelloFlo, SheKnows Media has produced two Wine + Gyn events, forums for frank conversation about women’s wellbeing.

“I’m surprised by how quickly the community of moms open up about very personal stories after we initiate a general topic.” says Skey. “I think having a professional present (Wine + Gyn always includes a gynecologist) help. Many moms and soon-to-be new moms are just awaiting a forum in which to ask questions and share stories.”

As an example of how brands can get along, Vagisil CEO Keech Combe-Shetty was a participant in Wine + Gyn and will open the June 24th lunchtime keynote in Orlando.

“Vagisil is partnering with SheKnows Media because they share our mission to destigmatize vaginal health and improve women’s everyday lives,” said Combe-Shetty. “SheKnows Media gives women and brands a platform to talk about tough and taboo topics, pioneering straightforward, honest, informative (and funny) content, created by women for women.”

Combe-Shetty knows about tough and taboo topics. Her grandparents created Vagisil 40 years ago but the journey to mainstream the issues it addresses is still an uphill slog, as “decades later not enough has changed,” she said.

“Even today, when I sit in a boardroom and mention Vagisil, people in the room react uncomfortably. We’re still made to feel embarrassed and ashamed about any issues having to do with the vagina, the core of our feminine self.”

“When my grand-parents developed Vagisil in 1974, it was pretty pioneering at the time because no-one, not even women, wanted to discuss vaginal health openly,” she added.

“Unfortunately, I think it would still be considered pioneering for today. We have made a lot of progress in talking about and getting the proper care for breast health, but I think that we still have a ways to go.” Being present and active at SheKnows this week can only help on that front.

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