When you hear "like a girl," what comes to mind? Slow? Weak? Emotional? Dumb? How about words like intelligent. Powerful. Inspiring. Strong.
In a video that has taken over the Internet, Always™ asked men and women to "run like a girl,” “throw like a girl” and “fight like a girl.” Predictably, they ran with their hands and legs flailing, threw like they had no muscle and fought by pawing the air. Next, they asked young girls to do the same and the response was inspiring. The young girls ran with all of their might, threw like they were pitching the World Series and fought with strength.
The video highlights the change girls experience. Why, when we are younger and still learning, are we smarter than when we are older and more educated? What happens in the time when girls are between 10 and 15 that makes them think that “like a girl” means they are doing something incorrectly or with no talent. When did “like a girl” become an insult?
In between the action, a screen shows and states “a girl’s confidence plummets during puberty.” This fragile state girls experience has a tremendous impact on how a girl feels about herself. It is during this time when phrases such as “like a girl” hurt the most and tear down any confidence a girl has.
As a society, recognizing gender differences is an important step in stopping them and making the world a little more equal. Running is running, throwing is throwing and fighting is fighting, despite your gender. The phrase “like a girl” highlights the fact that we fail to teach girls how to do what we have deemed "boy things"; then we use demeaning phrases to point out that girls don’t measure up to boys.
The video ends on an uplifting note when a woman asks, “Why can’t 'run like a girl' also mean win the race?” Always™ is challenging people to redefine what it means to do something “like a girl."
The video has quickly spread and has even garnered the attention of extremely talented female athletes. In an article for “Shape Magazine,” several athletes responded to the video.
"I think it's a very powerful video…These seemingly harmless words continue to prevent girls from developing the indomitable confidence many of us have been lucky enough to protect or restore,” said Lauren Fleshman, a two-time USA track and field champion and professional athlete for Oiselle. “I'm a fan of any movement that makes adolescence easier for girls.”
Alana Smith, Skateboard Street X Games silver medalist added, “You have the power to be as good as you want to be. All it takes is belief in yourself that you can do it. Don't ever let someone tell you that you’re not good enough…Never give up, live your dreams.”
Let’s take some guidance from our younger sisters, cousins and friends and “run like a girl,” with all of our strength and speed and win the race.
Always™ is challenging YOU to take a stand and “show young girls everywhere that doing things #LikeAGirl should never be used as an insult - that it means being strong, talented, and downright amazing.”
So leave comments here, Tweet or Facebook about what you do #LikeAGirl.