What does it mean to run 'like a girl'? (+watch)

The #LikeAGirl campaign by Always. Photo / YouTube
The #LikeAGirl campaign by Always. Photo / YouTube

"You run like a girl" or "you throw like a girl" are common insults we've all heard or said at one point.

Now, in a moving and illuminating video, Always questioned a group of adults on what it means to run, fight and throw "like a girl".

Scroll down to watch the #LikeAGirl video

The resulting squealing, coquettish giggling and substandard attempts at the task are very much in line with what the phrase has come to mean in society.

However, the poignant moment comes when the same questions are posed to younger girls.

Rather than flapping their arms and making pathetic noises, those aged five to 13 instead launch into wholehearted, strong runs, punches and fearless karate kicks.


How participants acted when asked to run and fight 'like a girl'.

Photo / YouTube

As part of the campaign, Always partnered with award-winning documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield to conduct the social experiment into how people interpret the phrase
"like a girl".

It is only the older girls who fulfilled the negative stereotype - a 20-year-old marathoner flailed her legs and mockingly expressed angst about her hair when asked to "run like a girl"; a 19-year-old with toned arms flapped her hands to demonstrate "fight like a girl"; and a 14-year-old volleyball player lamely flung her arm when asked to "throw like a girl".

A new survey found the start of puberty and their first period mark the lowest moments in confidence for girls, and harmful words can add to that drop.


How young girls acted when asked to fight, throw and run 'like a girl'. Photo / YouTube

When challenged on their reaction to the phrase having seen how young girls responded, the older women seemed shocked.

Erin says: "I think being insulted with 'like a girl' definitely drops girls' self-confidence and really puts them down

"During that time, they're already trying to figure themselves out, and when somebody says 'you hit like a girl' it's like, well, what does that mean?

"They think they are a strong person, but it's kind of telling them they're weak and not as good as them."

Another girl simply points out: "Why can't 'run like a girl' still mean 'win the race'?"

Watch: The #LikeAGirl campaign video from Always

Video

Greenfield, who can be heard throughout the film gently challenging the girls on their prejudices, says: "In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand.

"When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering.

"I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine 'like a girl' into a positive affirmation."

- Daily Mail

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