Maritza Velasco, Impact Staff

The Super Bowl brings in millions of viewers each year to watch something other than the actual football game – the commercials. This year I was unable to watch either because I had to work, but my creative advertising professor pulled up a few on the projector in class and there was one that moved me.

The commercial was an ad to promote Always and their campaign #LikeAGirl. The commercial was about a minute long and it touched me so much that I decided to go home and look it up again, only to find a longer version that touched me even more.

If I were to be asked right now to do something “like a girl,” I would do just as the older girls did. I would act like a fragile ditsy being. I’m sure anyone would. Seeing the younger girls demonstrate being “like a girl,” as being as strong or as fast as they can be, stimulated something in me. I was sad. While others thought that doing something like a girl meant to be weak these young innocent girls thought it meant the complete opposite. They were giving each demonstration their all. I was ashamed of how I had originally defined doing something like a girl. What are we doing to these uncorrupt minds? When did my perception of doing something like a girl change?

The commercial states that a girl’s confidence plummet during puberty, which is usually around age 10 or older, but why? Have you ever been told or told someone that they’re doing something “like a girl?” It may have not sounded like an insult at the time, but now it does and I’ll tell you why.

When someone says you are doing something like a girl it gives the impression that whatever you are doing is weak, powerless, wimpy, not good enough – not like a boy or man.

A woman then asks a young girl, “Is ‘like a girl,’ a good or bad thing?” The girl then replies that she doesn’t know if it’s good or bad, “but it sounds like a bad thing, like you’re trying to humiliate someone.” How does that not move you?

As a young girl you are brought up believing that you can aspire to do or be anything, but the moment that you are told you are doing something like a girl it shoots you down. It breaks you – slowly.

Till recently, a number of people thought that the word feminist was a bad thing. I remember watching an episode of girl code and one of the girls admitted that it wasn’t till Beyoncé’s Flawless, that she learned the true meaning of being a feminist and realized it wasn’t a bad thing. Beyoncé included a clip of Maya Angelou on the single expressing the following,

“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to treat each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes”

I believe as a society we still lack confidence in women, and because it starts at such a young and crucial age, it causes young girls to grow believing that because they are female they will never be as good as or equal to a man. I know men hate this topic and to be honest, I do think that it gets a bit redundant, but it makes for a good argument. Just because you are a girl does not make you worse or any less. Let’s join Always in their campaign to change the meaning of #LikeAGirl.


What Does “Like A Girl,” Mean To You??