“Like a Girl”

Girlhood is a topic that is instilled in youth at fairly young ages. From the Always commercial, Like a Girl, asks girls of various ages to do certain actions or tasks as girls would. One thing that really stood out to me was how the younger girls did these actions more similar to boys that the older girls. For example, an older girl was asked to run like a girl and she ran in an almost “ditzy” manner. The younger girl was told to do the same thing and she ran as fast as she could. This shows that as girls age they tend to fall more into the stereotypes forced upon them. In Erica Hateley’s Keyword essay, “Gender,” she talks about how children’s stories already lay out the gender differences in job choice. In the book “The Little House on the Prairie,” by Laura Ingles, the wife in the story got hurt while helping the husband build the house. When I read this, I immediately thought about how this illustrates women as being weaker and better suited for more domestic tasks. Between movies, shows, books, and commercials, young girls are shown the proper way to act like a girl. As they get older, these stereotypes become more prominent and girls who do not do typical girl things are viewed as being different. The first time I watched the Always commercial I was immensely impacted. “Like a girl” has such a negative connotation to it and I think it would be amazing to flip the meaning of it around to be something to be proud of, instead of shameful of.


3 thoughts on ““Like a Girl””

  1. I agree with this statement! It is strange that at the beginning of this video, when the girls were asked to “run like a girl”, they ran very dramatically and awkwardly, almost as if they were making fun of themselves. But as the video continued on, the women changed their perspectives on how to kick, or swim, or run “like a girl”. It is truly sad that women have this rather degrading view of themselves based upon these stereotypical comments. I also found the younger girls comments about “running like a girl” very interesting and uplifting! It is crazy how young girls’ perspective changes as they get older.

  2. Wow, I think this video is extremely interesting and inspiring. I feel like the saying “like a girl” has become so normalized in our culture that girls have begun to accept this insult because they are girls. I also think it’s very interesting how they asked the same questions to girls and a guy of different age groups to see how this coined saying changes. I think we can see this idea present in Little Women with the characterization of Jo versus perhaps Meg. There is a scene in which Jo, a girl, is running fast and freely with her guy friend Laurie. She is a girl, portrayed as a tomboy, but doesn’t “run like a girl.” On the other hand, Meg doesn’t even dare to run because she is perhaps to old to be doing these girlish activities, but I think if she were to run, Alcott might portray her as running in a “ditzy” way making sure to not get dirty or sweaty, “like a girl.” Very interesting video you’ve found!

  3. I completely agree. Acting like a girl is something that society created. Society influenced people to believe that girls are weak and incapable of many things. It is so evident from this film that society does influence what people perceive. When the younger girls are running like a girl but they are running normally it shows that they were not influenced heavily by society. The opposite occurs when older girls are asked to run like a girl and they run daintily. It is often an insult to say “you run like a girl” or “you throw like a girl.” However, it is not truly an insult if you think about it. Women are better than men at many things and can do things that men cannot. For example like breastfeeding. So when someone says “you run like a girl” it should be taken as a compliment because women are in fact good at many things and it should be seen as an honor to be like them.

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