Growing up, I was constantly being told by those around me that I did things like a girl. I ran like a girl, I threw like a girl, I screamed like a girl, you get the gist. While these statements always warranted the "Well, I AM a girl", I always wondered what could be so wrong with doing things like a girl, when I am indeed, a girl.
Even as a sophomore in college, well out of my puberty years, and as confident and independent as I had ever been, I still seemed to be put down when people told me I did something like a girl. It wasn't until Always debuted their #LikeAGirl commercial, that I stopped having such a negative stigma around the phrase.
Since this famed commercial, it appeared that the rest of the world was finally starting to catch up. In a few short months, everywhere I looked, I saw women becoming empowered, and the stigma about doing things "like a girl" beginning to take a more positive connotation.
From the #MeToo Campaign, to women taking higher positions in politics and businesses, to movies like Wonder Woman, women are becoming stronger forces in our world, and everyone seemed to take notice.
The progress didn't seem to stop either. Marvel's Black Panther, in addition to being an amazing film, really struck a nerve with me. While the movie was centered around a male hero and villain, I couldn't take my eyes off of the female warriors, and how strong, smart, and dedicated they were.
Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, and Letitia Wright all played women who were intelligent beyond their years. Their characters were fierce, perfectly equipped for battle, and would do anything to protect the ones they loved. In the movie, all three of them performed in battle better than the men did, and Danai Gurira's character even commanded an army of all female warriors.
Representation of women in this light is so important for young girls everywhere, as it can help them see just how powerful they really are. Even at my age, seeing how fierce and strong these women were inspired me to view myself in the same light. When you give a girl a powerful role model, she can transform how she sees herself, and more importantly, how others see her. With the help of these amazing women, we can change the stigma about doing things "like a girl", and I think that is truly amazing.
I am so proud to "run like a girl", because now I see it as running into battle the same way Lupita did. The same way Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson, and Jennifer Lawrence do. I am proud to throw like a girl, and to scream like a girl, and to fight like a girl, because now these phrases have such drastically different meanings.