It's great to be 'like a girl'
Collin recently showed me a video that Always created to portray the way in which a phrase can affect a generation of girls. The video entitled 'Like a Girl' has gone viral and rightfully so. The first time I watched the video the beginning was quite amusing. It was young adults, men and women, recreating actions that the director asked of them. "Show me 'run like a girl.'" "Show me 'fight like a girl.'" Each individual recreated these actions with comical movements and stereotypical flamboyance. The movements could be described as wimpy, ridiculous and overly theatrical. But as the video progressed my amusement quickly waned.
The entire tone changes when a little girl walks onto the set and is asked the same questions. Each little girl gives it her all when asked to run like a girl, hit like a girl, fight like a girl. These young girls have not reached the age where this phrase becomes a negative connotation towards their sex. One girl even goes on to say that she doesn't really know what it means but it sounds like you are trying to "humiliate" someone. That did it. I was completely taken aback by this young girl's realization and I had an epiphany. I thought back to when I was young and growing up in the tumultuous time that is adolescence. I was made fun of at times for throwing like a girl or running like a girl and it hurt. We aren't born with this notion that doing things 'like a girl' is bad. Quite the contrary. Most girls grow up loving the fact that they are girls. Girls are awesome. Girls can run, hit, fight, swim and it doesn't mean that the ways in which they perform these actions are any less worthy than our male counterparts.
Why would we use this phrase when growing up is hard on its own? We need to empower girls to grow up and be themselves - whoever that may be. 'Like a girl' should be a powerful statement. Not one in which is used to degrade or humiliate.
I am surprised but delighted to see the media beginning to portray girls in an empowering light and this isn't the first commercial I have seen which makes me stop and think. Others like 'Inspire Her Mind' by Verizon also shows us the ways parents can affect girls esteem.
I want to empower my niece and other young girls. I want them to grow up confident in themselves and the decisions they make. Shouldn't we all want that?