A nine-year old girl stares into the mirror, toothbrush in hand, dressed in her purple polkadot pajamas.
To the casual observer, the nine-year old is getting ready for bed, but to the girl, she is standing confidently on top of the empire state building. Her polkadot pajamas transform into a superhero costume with a purple cape. Hands on hips, the young girl has just saved countless citizens and is taking a moment’s rest after a busy superhero-day. At the age of sixteen, the girl stares anxiously into the mirror. This time she fantasizes not that she is a superhero, but rather that her acne is larger than life. She covers up a small zit, fearing that this blemish will be the first observable feature on her face. She thinks her purple dress is too tight, and puts down her polka dotted scarf. Too bold.
Stride #1: Run with Understanding
Around puberty, girls like the one above begin to loose confidence. Studies show self-esteem in girls drops from 60% to 29%. Enter Always – a feminine products company. They launched an ad campaign #LIKEAGIRL. Their goal is to reclaim the comment “like a girl” and reclaim confidence for girls.
In 2015, Always created a highly successful Super Bowl commercial. In the ad, they film average people, asking them to run like a girl. After these people demonstrate flimsy weak running styles, the commercial switches to a group of younger girls around the ages of 9-11.
They have been asked the same question, but this time the girls strike strong poses. With a sense of poise and self assurance they run. Fast.
Stride #2: Run with the Movement
Thanks to the voice of Arianna Huffington, the movement took off. The commercial received press on high-profile sites including BBC, Huffington Post, NYMag.com, and BuzzFeed. The #LIKEAGIRL has become a trending hashtag and amassed over 290 million social impressions and gained 133 thousand social mentions. Multiple celebrities have attached their names to the movement.
Exceeding the limitations of a commercial, the campaign is now referred to as an “epic battle.” Before the ad, the statement “run like a girl” was derogatory, but it has become a phrase of empowerment. The hashtag encourages girls to be comfortable in their own skin. To run “like a girl”, throw “like a girl”, and “fight like a girl” has gained unique and powerful status.
Stride Three: Run with Confidence
As a runner technique is important, but now you already have the understanding, the technique, and the ability; it’s time to put that knowledge to use and to run with confidence. 70% of girls believe they don’t belong in sports. But girls do belong in sports, and they belong in athletics. Recent studies show playing sports from the ages from 18-24 greatly increases a woman’s confidence. Len Kravitz, Ph.D, even shows evidence of how regular exercise can boost self-esteem. Girls need role models of fit confident women.
Use the hashtag
Actually run like a girl
Be a role model everywhere of what it truly means to run #likeagirl.
This post has been crafted together by the one and only, Ben LoCascio. He will be guest blogging sporadically. (Pretty much whenever this PCK (poor college kid) needs some extra cash. ) If you enjoyed his writing, follow him. But not before you follow us.