Transforming the phrase ‘Like a girl’ from an insult into an empowering rally.
The powerful insight that led to the viral campaign and podcast series
In late 2013, Always came to us with a question and challenge: How can we counter the negative effects of puberty on girls?
Working closely with our insights and planning director, I wrote an emotive manifesto about how girls feel during this confusing time, when their bodies and emotions are changing rapidly – and how thoughtless phrases such as ‘like a girl’ can have a devastating effect. This manifesto was then shared with the wider creative team and director, who then went on to produce the award-winning TVC.
Changing how we talk changes how we think and act. Words matter. They are powerful. That’s why reclaiming words is a way of shifting power.
When you describe my actions as ‘Like a girl’, it’s thrown out there like an insult. This has a profound effect on my self-confidence and limits my achievements. It’s a slow erosion that starts young, and it’s magnified when I’m going through sensitive times such as puberty. In a world where ‘Like a girl’ is a negative phrase, is it any wonder that my confidence takes a battering when I’m going through significant physical, mental and emotional changes that mark my transition into womanhood?
But I will not give in. Just as words can knock my confidence, so they can build it. Why should doing anything ‘Like a girl’ be a bad thing? I can be strong, fast, smart, and powerful, just like a girl. I can change ‘Like a girl’ into a positive, so that it’s seen as praise instead of an insult.
Imagine a world in which us girls don’t feel at a disadvantage. Imagine the power and talent of girls who aren’t told all the time that who we are makes us weak. Imagine what a force for good us girls could be if we believed in our own strength.
That’s why Always is taking a stand and reframing the debate. Together, we can transform ‘Like a girl’ into a statement to be proud of. Together, we can influence the world in many ways to help protect the confidence of future generations of women. Together, we can empower women to achieve and succeed, like a girl.