“DIRECTOR: ’And what advise do you have to young girls who are told they run like a girl, kick like a girl, hit like a girl, swim like a girl…?’
YOUNG WOMAN: ‘Keep doing it, cause it’s working.’ – Always brand video”
Yesterday, I saw this video. (Please take a few moments to watch it before you move on.)
As the son of an incredibly strong and independent mother, as the brother of an unbelievably intelligent and determined sister, and as the boyfriend of an amazingly successful and motivated girlfriend, it pains and embarrasses me to say that I have uttered that phrase in the past. While I am extremely conscious in my present of avoiding such connotations and speaking out when someone else does, I am sorry to them and all other women that the words “like a girl” ever formed on my lips.
Proudly, I saw that Procter and Gamble’s Always brand is embarking on a new social media campaign to “rewrite the rules” of what the phrase #LikeAGirl means. It is sad enough that this “rule” even exists in the first place. It is equally painful that many (mostly, men) will see this campaign and laugh it off as some sort of joke.
Always ends the video with “Let’s make #LikeAGirl mean amazing things.” Well, Always, it already does, but it means more than amazing things.
It means POWERFUL things. It means INTELLIGENT things. It means SUCCESSFUL things.
Self-esteem issues are a prevalent thing in our society. While young boys are taught to “toughen up” and “be a man,” young girls are constantly bombarded with images of how they should look, how they should act, and what they can and, more importantly, cannot be. Neither of these concepts are remotely constructive.
Girls are labeled as not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough. Then, the socially “pretty, skinny, and smart” ones are told they are too pretty, too skinny, or too smart. They are accused of using their looks, not their brains, to get ahead.
Can we not let these beautiful, amazing, and smart women (all of them) grow up to be the incredible beings God created them to be? Can we use our words to uplift them and not insult them or pull them through the mud? Can we just accept that both men and women have the same right to pursue being their best on a daily basis? Can we then acknowledge that it is not our job to tell them what their success is or, more importantly, what it is not?
It is not ok to use words to put one women down, but then qualify by saying you do not mean it about your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter, your girlfriend, your aunt, your cousin, etc.
Would you say it to their face?
If you would (in any context or for any reason), I would strongly suggest you reconsider. They do not need to hear it from you. They do not need to hear it from anyone.
It is not a joke. It is not funny. You may be laughing, but I am not. And they, most definitely, are not.
Your words drive them to tears. Maybe not in front of you because they would never give you such satisfaction. Your words cause them to question everything they thought they knew about themselves. Your words do not make you better or tougher or stronger or more of a man (or woman). They make you a coward.
They do things like a girl because that is who they are…GIRLS!!!
Beautiful, powerful, intelligent, successful, amazing girls.
It is time we start recognizing that and treat them that way. ALWAYS!
Bring your best today!