"When did doing something 'like a girl' become an insult?"
That's the question posed in a new advertising campaign that exposes how negative language affects girls' confidence.
In the video, teenagers and younger children are asked to run, throw or fight 'like a girl'.
The teenagers all respond by flailing their limbs around ineffectually, playing with their hair and wiggling their hips.
However, the younger children ran as fast as they could, threw accurately and fought fiercely, proving that our idea of what it means to be 'like a girl' changes as we grow up.
Story continues below the video
The short film was made by director Lauren Greenfield, following a study conducted by Research Now and sponsored by Always, which found that girls experience a drop in confidence around puberty.
"In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand," said Lauren.
When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering.
"I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine 'like a girl' into a positive affirmation."
Among the teenage girls in the video are a marathon runner and a volleyball player - two girls who have proven that they are good at running and throwing - yet despite their own natural ability even they flapped around when asked to behave 'like a girl'.
At the end of the video, the older girls were given a chance to reconsider how they initially chose to impersonate girls running. They concluded that 'running like a girl' can also mean winning a race, and decided to reclaim the term 'like a girl'.
As one girl said:
"Yes, I kick like a girl and I swim like a girl and I walk like a girl and I wake up in the morning like a girl - because I am a girl. And that is not something I should be ashamed of."
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