by Olivia Loggia
Feminine-care product brand Always launched a bold campaign aiming to transform the derogatory connotation of the expression “like a girl,” according to always.com.
As part of the movement, Always released a powerful video called “Like a Girl” in which the company captures the direct effects of the phrase through a social experiment
.In the video, which has already received over 56 million views on Youtube, Always shows candid reactions of various individuals, both male and female, responding to what they believed it meant to “run like a girl.” Younger girls who were polled demonstrated extreme confidence, running as fast as they could; in contrast, older girls ran half-heartedly, fulfilling the degrading stereotype attached to the expression.
This is a testament to the potential damage expectations can have on girls, highlighting the immediate need for widespread change.
Today, there’s a notable growth in the number of girls who lack confidence during adolescence, according to nyc.gov. Their self-images are constantly pitted against media images, which tend to idealize often unattainable physical portrayals of women.
Despite this, the portrait of the American woman is not the only stereotype damaging young girls’ self-esteems. For instance, modern expectations for both males and females distort young females’ perceptions of themselves. According to latimes.com, young men grow up with a constant fear of behaving in a way that is perceived as feminine. Although a female who acts in a boyish manner is merely thought of as a tomboy, a male who engages in feminine activities is often ostracized. This double standard sends mixed messages to girls. What’s so wrong with acting like a girl that a boy should avoid it?
According to heartofleadership.org, the average girl’s self-esteem peaks when she is nine years old. Why shouldn’t this carry into adolescence and beyond?
It is essential that individuals recognize this issue, and respond appropriately. It is imperative that society consciously works to undo rigid stereotypes in young individuals’ minds. And, as in the Always campaign, advertisers and media must continuously work to promote this change.