Like A Girl


Every year, millions of Americans religiously tune into the NFL Super Bowl and this year was no different. Some for the football, some for the commercials, and some just to have Super Bowl parties and eat a lot of food. I didn’t get a chance to watch the Super Bowl because I had homework to do, but I made sure I went back and watched the most talked about commercials played during the game. One that caught my attention and probably my favorite commercial that I saw was Always’ “Like A Girl” commercial. In the commercial it has a variety of people, mostly children, act out what they think it means to do different activities “like a girl.” The boys in the commercial all made it seem like girls were very incapable of doing anything they were told to do. However, they then asked young girls to do things “like a girl” and the results were very different. They did everything with as much effort and power as they possibly could. This reminded me of our first couple of gender classes where we talked about the different gendered boxes everyone in put into by our society to be the “perfect” boy or girl. I love this commercial so much because it challenges what everyone thinks it means to do things “like a girl.” Our society discourages girls to be athletic, intelligent, assertive, daring, etc. because that “isn’t what girls are supposed to do.” I think we should have more commercials and campaigns like this one to help encourage young girls in our society to be themselves and let them know they can do anything they want, and do it just as well as any boy can.

11 thoughts on “Like A Girl

  1. As I was looking on the Gender Watch page, your post caught my eye the most. This ‘Like A Girl’ commercial has put into perspective what it means to do things like a girl. I actually recently wrote a paper on this commercial because I found it so interesting. It definitely relates to the “box”, as you said, that we talked about in class. Girls shouldn’t be taught that they can’t and shouldn’t do certain things just because they’re girls.

  2. Michael,
    When I saw this commercial I fell in love with it too! Thinking about it I am so happy that my younger sisters get to grow up in a world like this one that is evolving and encouraging young girls instead of knocking them down. My sisters are in 2nd and 7th grade and they are in very vulnerable development stages and I hope that companies and people in general continue to encourage young girls to grow up confidently. I heard a lot of good things from the general public as well about the commercial however there was a twitter hashtag #LikeABoy started after it made it’s big super bowl debut. The hashtag feed was sad. It was mostly men demeaning the commercial and saying how that it was stupid and I was really disappointed by it. Then I realized that I can’t put too much blame on them because they are just fitting their gendered norm, which if you think about it is even more sad. I’m glad you posted about this commercial!


  3. Michael,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post and the commercial you chose to evaluate on the issue of gender. I did watch the Super Bowl and this was one of the commercials that stuck out to me the most as well- I really enjoyed watching the commercial for the same reason you did. The boys all made fun of girls and exemplified the “stereotypical girl” to the extreme, but the young girls put all their effort into the activities they were asked to perform. At the end, when the young lady was asked about how she would run now that they had explained the purpose more, she said she would run like herself. I found this to be really interesting because if I was asked to run like a “girl”, I don’t know if my first instinct would be to run like myself, or run like “a girl” in the stereotypical sense. The language to describe girls in the realm of athletics and sports are much different than the way we talk about boys in this same aspect. Through the language, we have created meaning to how girls are expected to perform such activities. So by changing the way we talk about girls, like when it comes to performing meniscal activities, we can change the way that the world views girls and gender as a whole.

    Great job!


  4. Michael,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. Social learning theory really applies to this campaign because growing up we learn that boys are stronger than girls, better at sports, and that maybe even sometimes girls should just sit out. This is something I truly believe is important to change in our society. I think that being proud of exercising and playing sports will even benefit girls health in the long run. Individuals shouldn’t be treated differently just because of the gender they are, and I believe classes like this in many universities across the United States will slowly but surely change our interpretation of gender.

  5. This post relates very well to the Chapter 5 reading. It shows us just how effective our words and views can influence people. It was very easy to see how the society had affected the older girls in this video. However, when the younger girls came on, they did not seem at all affected. This proves just how accurate the book was when describing gender norms and how people talk to each other. I believe this video shows us just how important our words are and that we really need to watch what we say. The hashtag, #LikeAGirl, explains it all. We can change the way people view themselves by changing the way we speak.

  6. I instantly thought of the chapter 5 lecture when I saw this commercial come on during the Super Bowl. Although I had already seen this commercial before and it had influenced me the first time I saw it, seeing it again after listening to Dr. Johnson’s lecture just made it that much more powerful to me. Boys and older women see the phrase “like a girl” to be an insult because they have been exposed to a masculine speech community, whereas young girls who have not been as exposed as much to the negative connotation of this phrase do not see it as an insult. These girls, instead, see this phrase as meaning to do the best they can and with as much effort and force as they can. As a whole, we all need to learn a lesson from these young girls and get rid of these negative connotations related to the “like a girl” phrase. We need to make it so “like a girl” no longer means to be incapable or weak and instead make it so “like a girl” and “like a boy” are equal phrases, because boys and girls are equal in capabilities.

  7. I remember seeing this commercial when it first started during the Super Bowl and saying, “This isn’t funny why are they showing it during the Super Bowl?” After watching it the entire way through, I was moved. I had never thought about the insult behind the words “like a girl”. I slowly began to remember the situations I was placed in where people told me I did things like a girl.. and I was shocked. Did they think I was weak, incapable, or not powerful enough to do activities just because I was female? I am powerful woman and will not be put down because of my gender. The reason people said this was all from a gender schema placed in the heads of others to associate weakness to women. I am in full support of #LikeAGirl

  8. “Like a girl” creates a gender box. Boys hear that comment and they get defensive and try to prove their masculinity. Girls hear that comment and we feel weaker and less confident. This commercial also draws attention to those preteen years that are a very trying time for us girls. Finding who we are and finding our way is hard enough without phrases that reduce that confidence to rubble.
    Chapter 5 taught us that language is a powerful thing. It can hurt us or it can empower us. “Like a Girl” needs to mean something stronger and it is up to us to change that.

  9. I too thought of the chapter 5 discussion when I saw this video. When I originally saw it on Facebook and then again during the Superbowl, I found it to be a very meaningful piece. The way girls are socialized has a great impact on how they think about themselves and interact with others as they grow up. In chapter 7, we discussed how children are born with no sense of self and the social learning theory explains why girls are accustomed to being more fragile and sweet. This is why the video shows the change over time. Gender norms are formed through responses from others and when they act out of their norms they get a negative reaction; hence run like a girl.

  10. This post immediately made me think of the Chapter 5 lecture when Dr. Johnson mentioned how a teacher made the students draw a picture representing what a “he” would look like. I don’t think we completely understand the effect that words, even if harm is not intended, have on the advancement of different genders. The “Like a Girl” ad shows how over years of use of the phrase, women are depicted as weak and incapable of many tasks, which is entirely false. We should all pay attention to the phrases and wording we use when describing anyone in order to make our society a tad more accepting.

  11. I remember this ad too, I found it really interesting of the contrast between the younger girls and the older girls about how their thought of “like a girl” was. This campaign has been really fun to watch, as more girls tend to do activities that aren’t “girly”. You mentioned female athletes in this, and one that comes to mind is Danica Patrick, being the first female to win the pole for the Daytona 500, and having the best finish in NASCAR history by a woman.

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