Doing Anything “Like A Girl” Should NOT Be An Insult!

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Being told you do something “like a girl” is generally seen as an insult in society, whether you are a man or a woman. The ‘Mythbusters’ team recently delved into the phrase “you throw like a girl” and decided to test out whether there was any merit to it, by pitting male and female baseball pitchers up against each other, and average guys and girls up against each other in a throwing contest.

What they found was that there was not much difference, except that the majority of girls threw more accurately. They basically concluded that when you analyze the data, throwing “like a girl” means you are in fact a little better.

Yet the phrase is still used. We hear people everyday say things like “you run like a girl” in an attempt to insult someone. The fact that it is a subconscious fallback phrase used so often means we have a greater problem than we think. When people are using insults without stopping to consider what it actually means, and just accept it is a normal, comfortable and acceptable saying, we see that sexism and inequality is not just a myth.

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Many beauty brands are using their power to promote something positive within the female community. We’ve seen Dove do this in numerous, effective commercials, and now Pantene. Another brand getting on board the “we support women” bandwagon is tampin brand Always. They released a new video showing men and women that doing anything “like a girl” should never be seen as a negative thing, because being a girl is awesome.

“Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence,” says the brand.

“In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand,” said Lauren Greenfield, filmmaker and director of the ‘Like A Girl’ video. “When the words ‘like a girl’ are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering… I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.”

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“I am proud of the Always commitment to help girls build their confidence at puberty and beyond, especially as a father of three young girls,” said Edgar Sandoval, Vice President of Global Feminine Care, Procter & Gamble in a press release. “I’m touched by our new #LikeAGirl campaign, because every girl is capable of greatness and we must continue to empower them to grow into strong, amazing women tomorrow.”

In case you are wondering why on earth a tampon brand would consider the empowerment of girls something important, statistics show that the lowest confidence moments for girls were when puberty started and when they got their first period. More than half of girls (about 1 out of 2 or 56 percent) claimed to experience a drop in confidence at puberty, says the Always Puberty & Confidence Study, where a group of  1,300 American Females aged 16 to 24 years old were surveyed.

There was a nationally representative sample group of 1,000 females as well as an additional boost of 150 African American and 150 Hispanic American females. The survey was implemented between the dates of May 22, 2014 through May 28, 2014.

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The video below shows young men and women being asked to mimic throwing a ball. Then they were asked to do the same thing, but this time “like a girl”. The result was that they flailed their limbs around in a manner showing weakness or humor.

What was interesting was when the younger demographic of girls were asked to “run like a girl” they did so without any stereotyped weakness or fragility. The message was that there is no truth or value to telling someone they do something “like a girl.”

Words are important and can affect a prepubescent boy or girl in a negative way. Commercials like this are crucial because we need significant cultural markers changing the course of sexism which is passed down from one generation to the next. The more the media and brands can use their power to portray women as equals and people deserving of respect, the less we will see institutionalized bias toward females.

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