Like a Girl
Recently, a great video has been traveling around Facebook. For some reason, I am unable to embed it on my blog so I’m going to direct you instead to a wonderful blog named Girl’s Gone Child written by the super talented Rebecca Woolf. Rebecca’s blog is a wonderful place to visit so do take a moment when you are there but then come back on over here to read a bit more. In case, you can also find the video by clicking #likeagirl.
The title of this video, produced by Lauren Greenfield is Like a Girl and it is part of a campaign sponsored by Always (don’t laugh- apparently they are doing really good things). In this video we see teenage girls and boys being asked to do various tasks like running and throwing, “like a girl.” You view them over and over again throwing and running weakly and in truth, foolishly. They all looked like Phoebe on my favorite episode of Friends. If you know what I am talking you can see the visual, right?
Then the videographers ask young girls to do the same things. And over and over again, they run or throw fast with strength, power and confidence. These are children who have yet to internalize what it means to do something ‘like a girl.’
As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but think of my own two girls. One still strong and confident and one slipping rather quickly in to the world of understanding exactly what it means to do something ‘like a girl.’ Over the past few months, I have watched Caroline’s confidence shrink as she goes from being the girl who posed for the picture below only a few short years ago
to this girl who is beginning to cross her arms in pictures as if to cover all her wonderfulness.
I know that media and society get a bad reputation but in this case, I swear Rob and I haven’t done anything new or different. If anything, we work tirelessly to keep Caroline’s confidence high. What else then has changed? Obviously, Caroline has entered the age where we all suffer a bit from self-doubt. I can clearly remember walking in to the lunch room in my school imagining that ever single person seated there was looking at me and critiquing what I was wearing so I know she is not alone.
Our challenge then as parents is to constantly remind these girls of all their wonderfulness. It is to remind them that to run and throw like a girl is to run and throw with as much strength and confidence as they can muster because they are amazing. I’m so glad I took the three minutes to watch this video as I know I needed the encouragement to keep up with these reminders. Here’s to doing things #likeagirl, always and forever.
Oh, YES. I’m watching a similar transformation in front of me and it makes me so, so sad… I feel helpless to stop it.
It’s striking – the photos and the differences. Both such beautiful girls, but one older and more self-conscious.
I see it a LOT in my photography career.
Once I had someone say they were in shock that I got their 13-year-old to open up and smile. I said I wouldn’t have left without it.
Oh my gosh, first of all, I love Girl Gone Child, Rebecca is so amazing. I remember her post now, I’m not sure if I watched the video, but I will now.
Your daughter is so lovely in both pictures, but YES I see the difference and it breaks my heart because I know/suspect that will happen to my daughter too. Right now she is posing like the first, but I know that my arms were always crossed pretty much from eleven years old and up…
Thanks for posting this. I am so happy to have found your blog. It feels so comforting to be surrounded (on the internet anyway) by like minded mothers, writers and thinkers!