You’ve probably seen this ad in this year’s Superbowl. This is part of the #LikeAGirl campaign by Always, Procter & Gamble’s feminine hygiene brand. The ad made its rounds on social media last Summer, and I was very pleased that it got a spot at the Superbowl line up of commercials. There’s no better spot to find a large audience. Adobe ranked it the top digital campaign (basically based on highest favorable social media mentions) of the Super Bowl, a male-dominated sports event where dad-centric ads take the top spots. This is pretty big deal!
And we needed that. The phrase “like a girl” is one of those little things whose intention and impact are often downplayed –oh it’s nothing, just a joke, I didn’t mean it. But, it actually does damage to our girls than we could imagine. Data has shown that there is a significant drop in self-confidence among girls when they hit puberty. I’ve found this NY Times article published in 1991 talking just about that. I was a young girl then about to enter adolescence. This data resonates in my personal life. In my teenage years, I’ve had my share of trying to be tougher and be “one of the boys” to portray my strength, as well as to be “more girly” and be less outspoken to be likable to boys. It’s been more than 2 decades since that article. I’ve since learned to be the most confident person I can be without feeling sorry for it. And yet we still talk about this data like it’s a fresh issue. Because it is, sadly.
Hopefully, with ads just like this, and with social media making campaigns like this easily accessible, we are making a difference for this issue. By bringing this to light, the goal is for us to be more conscious about what our connotations are when we say “like a girl”. The goal is to bring back the positive meaning of “like a girl” to that strong, powerful person that a young girl imagines. That when someone tells her she <runs> like a girl, she would take it, not with embarrassment nor insult, but with pride.
This week, Always released a sequel to this ad, in time for International Women’s Day this Sunday. What do you think about it?
“P&G also released some new stats around the campaign from its Always Puberty & Confidence Wave II Study, conducted pre-Super Bowl. According to that study, 76 percent of women and 59 percent of men ages 16-24 said the video changed their perception of the phrase “like a girl.” Also, 81 percent of women said the video can change the way people think about the stereotypes surrounding women’s physical abilities.” [Source: Adweek] Are we getting there?
Let’s make it happen. Speak out and share what you think it means to you, what you want your daughters to think when they hear it. What do you do #likeagirl?