Man up. Stop acting like a little b***h. You’re such a p***y. Grow some balls. You’re such a girl.
No one needs a dictionary or Google translator to explain that anytime you need to insult someone’s strength or imply that they are weak and cowardly lion-like, just tell them they are acting like a girl. It’s not necessary to find a fancy metaphor, the message is loud and clear by simply telling them they throw, catch, run, swim, dance, walk or do just about any verb like a girl.
No one — not even girls it seems — want to do anything like a girl. And that is regardless of the fact that more than half of the young population are girls throwing, catching, running, swimming, walking and living their lives in ways anyone would be proud to mimic.
To combat this toxic way of seeing girlhood, during the Super Bowl, Always debuted a new commercial and campaign, #likeagirl. The shortened spot that aired was impactful, but for the total brilliance behind the new ad, head online to the three-plus minute extended version.
In the spot, at first there are tweens, teens, young women and a couple of males of varying ages who are asked to throw, run and fight “like a girl.” It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the flailing arms and weak-limbed attempts they each put forth. It’s not until the young girls — the ones who haven’t been beat down by society’s telling them that girls are sniveling and scared — that all of sudden we see real efforts. One toddler is asked what it means to run like a girl and she says, “To run as fast as you can.” Right.
It’s a simple message, but often the most powerful words are the simplest ones. It’s dangerous to continue this assault against girlhood. By building an entire metaphor around the (false) belief that girls can’t do anything that denotes power, we are brainwashing the world, setting little boys — and grown men — up to have overinflated senses of their own abilities vis-a-vis woman. We are also failing to grasp what even the tiniest of girls know: that being “like a girl” is one of the most amazing things you could be.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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