Low a girl” puts young females in a

Low self-esteem is a thinking disorder in which an
individual views oneself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once this
negative view is shaped, it produces flawed assumptions and ongoing
self-defeating behavior. Empowering girls during this time of their lives when
confidence is at its lowest would give a powerful, relevant and purposeful opportunity
that Always wanted to provide teen girls with. Thus the “like a girl” campaign
was born in hopes to obliterate the stereotypes, marginalization, and social
exclusion of females. Using formulaic language “like a girl” puts young females
in a position of questioning their own strength and power within society. This
language portrays girls as inferior to males. The stereotypes are so widespread
and powerful that girls begin to believe what society depicts them as; weak and
mediocre in comparison. The goal in mind of Always’  “like a girl” campaign is to provide support
to young girls as they make the transition from puberty to young women or adolescents,
meanwhile understanding the social issues girls face today during puberty: a
time of growth and development in various ways.

 

            The
implication: To do something “like a girl” is to do it badly, but
that negative connotation is something that is only learned over time.
Therefore, it is something we can change. In the beginning of the video mature
women and men are asked what it means to run like a girl, their re-enactments
included flailing/kicking their
legs up, slow and lazy movements. When asked to fight like a girl, they were
weak, scared, and avoidant. Lastly, when asked to throw like a girl, they were
powerless. Thus proving that doing something “like a girl” is a negative thing
and refers to doing things unsuccessfully. However, when the crew from Always
asked girls ten and under the same questions, their actions were energetic,
aggressive, direct, and forceful. One girl even mentions that running “like a
girl” means running “as fast as you can” (1:01-1:03). The difference in perspective
between the two sets of participants shows that stereotypes against girls are
introduced to them during puberty as they grow older. Specifically when they
are least confident in themselves and vulnerable to societies notions. 7 in 10
girls aged 12-17 believe that they are not good enough or do not measure up in
some way (Neuman 1), this belief comes from external influences within a
teenager’s social environment.

 

            The biggest problem with
stereotypes against girls is that most of society does not realize the negative
impact they are making. In the advertisement, there is a young boy who ridiculed
how girls run, fight, and throw but when asked if he felt as though he was insulting
his own sister he said: “No! I mean, yeah – I insulted girls but not my sister”
(1:09-1:14). After him another girl was asked if “like a girl” was a good or
bad thing and she was unsure of how to respond. She thought for a moment before
mentioning that she was uncertain of the connotation of the saying but “it
sounds like you’re trying to humiliate someone” (1:22-1:24). From both sides of
the spectrum it is unclear that you are damaging a girl’s self-esteem however
it is evident that using derogatory terms such as “like a girl” is creating a
negative reputation for young women within society. Language of the sort
insinuates that women are a minority and are not capable of doing what men can
do, further excluding them socially. The lack of knowledge that girls are being
marginalized makes it easier for such trends to continue over time.

 

            The text does a wonderful
job of trying to “rewrite the rules” as mentioned in the advertisement, in
efforts to open society’s eyes to positive stereotypes towards females. Instead
of labelling girls as menial, the Always crew wants to label them as strong,
powerful, and competent beings. The advertisement questions when the term “like
a girl” became an insult instead of a compliment. As the commercial wraps up
they go back to the initial group of mature participants and ask them if their
actions would change now that they have seen the younger girls perspective on
doing things like a girl. One of the women says she’d run like herself because
she is a girl. An Always staff member suggests: “making ‘like a girl’ mean
amazing things…why can’t running like a girl also mean winning the race?”
(2:52-3:01). The final participant says girls should keep doing what they are doing,
the way they are doing it because it is working. She says as long as the
outcomes are prosperous it is not a bad thing to do things “like a girl” nor is
it something to be ashamed of.

 

While the stereotyping and marginalization of girls is
not new, a younger age group of females is being affected through their years
of puberty. With the help of Always and their “like a girl” campaign they have
aided in reinforcing the self-esteem of youths. They are taking the negative
stereotypes which shape women’s reputation in society and transforming them
into positive motivation for girls to continue to be themselves. The campaign
aims to put a stop to the self-defeating behavior produced by the
marginalization and in turn empowering them through such difficult times in
their lives. Although low self-esteem is a serious thinking disorder, it can be
managed and the first step is creating and holding auspicious beliefs towards
the social group of women.