REWRITE THE RULES: LIKE A GIRLSaturday, October 10, 2015
Ironically, the most impactful session to me at Blog Elevated actually had nothing to do with blogging, but focused on women empowerment. This particular session was held after lunch on the first day and was presented by Jolie Egan, Vice President at MSLGroup, a PR Firm based in New York. Jolie and her team are the brains behind the uber successful Always #LikeAGirl campaign. My first viewing of the #LikeAGirl campaign occurred during the Super Bowl this year. The commercial aired during one of the many commercial breaks and I remember having an almost emotional response to it....to the point where I cheered out from the couch for the young girls who ran and threw the correct way. But since I watched it during a Super Bowl party, I couldn't really hear everything in the commercial and moved quickly passed it. I'm glad I had the chance to revisit the campaign again during Blog Elevated, because this time, viewing the commercial in its entirety really hit home and hitting home for me, means I shed a tear! So for the 2nd time at Blog Elevated, I found myself fighting back an emotional response to a session.
Why did I tear up? Well in case you haven't seen the commercial, the contrast between the young girls with confidence who run correctly vs the older ladies who make fun of girls running is so impactful. Even the young boy who doesn't think he's making fun of his sister by mocking girls running shows a deeper issue than we thought with the negative connotation of doing things like a girl. I've embedded the video below for you to watch, or you can watch it HERE on YouTube.
Maybe you didn't have the same emotional reaction as me, but as a female who has also used the term "like a girl" in a make fun of type of way, this struck a nerve...Why have I used this term to demean and make fun of the way people do things? Why was I demeaning people and mostly men in general, anyway? Putting people down by saying they do things like a woman which apparently means in a goofy, & incorrect manner is ridiculous. Since when is this type of behavior acceptable? Why does doing anything LIKE A GIRL have to have such a negative connotation? As a female Engineer, I'm rare. I'm even more rare as an African-American female Engineer, but you know what? I did it. I studied like a girl. I graduated college like a girl. I work out like a girl. I sing like a girl. I damn well do everything in my life successfully as a girl, and why? Because I am a girl, and there's nothing wrong with it.
Before sharing the video, Jolie gave us some incredulous statistics on what happens to females and their confidence around puberty age. Almost all girls are strong, vocal, & confident up until puberty. It's around puberty where they start to loose confidence and identify with gender specific roles. They begin to "unspeak", where everything they say starts and sounds likes a question. Below are just a few of the stats that Jolie shared with us, that further drove the point home.
The part in this video where they switched to young girls who just ran the way they're supposed to run versus the older ladies who ran making fun of girls is so impactful. It's eye-opening for men as well! Fathers & brothers learned that what they say can have a lifelong impact on their daughters and sisters, as you can see by the young boy who realized he was making fun of his sister in the video.
Before this campaign, I was already a fan of Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products, but now I'm even more of a fangirl! Instead of going the traditional route of featuring their product(s) in an advertising campaign, they focused on a real issue. They want to help women be stronger, more confident, and unstoppable. And that makes me want to buy their products more than a commercial showing me how great their tampons works (I'm blunt....). Even beyond that? They incorporated the word unstoppable into a spinoff #LikeAGirl campaign. I've embedded the commercial for that one below as well or you can watch it HERE. I encourage everyone to join the conversation at always.com and tweet to the Always brand how you do things #LikeAGirl and are damn proud of it.
All photos in this post from the always Like A Girl campaign unless otherwise specified.
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