“Like a girl”

Today I was listening to a music station on YouTube and a commercial came on. Normally I skip them AS SOON as the ad button allows me to- but this one instantly captivated my interest: I listened intently and watched closely. The message it carried is one I’m extremely passionate about.

It was an ad for Always© – you know, the feminine pad company. The message they were conveying was extremely powerful. They brought in a group of girls, ages ranging from approximately seven to teens. The very first question posed was, “Do we limit girls?” They asked each girl this question: how they responded was very realistic, sad, and also empowering. Watch the 2:44 video here.

This video brought up a mixture of emotions I felt as a kid and still come across to this day. As a girl who was athletically inclined as a child, I always played sports and got dirty with the boys in the neighborhood. I used to play baseball with them and I remember the day they kicked me off their team because “girls don’t play baseball”. Truthfully, I was better than they were and knew the game like the back of my hand.  Looking back it makes me wonder, is this behavior natural for boys or is it taught?

From birth, girls are treated much differently than boys. Society considers us the ‘weaker’ of the sexes and all of the chick flick movies depict us as the ones who need saving. We’re automatically dressed in frilly dresses, taught to play house with Barbie’s and dolls, and should aspire to be ‘ladylike’. We’re told, “one day you’ll get married, have kids, etc.” I remember the day I told my dad I’m never getting married. He laughed at me and said one day I’ll change my mind.  20 years later, I still haven’t changed my mind.

I’d like to share another personal example: I’ll never forget the day I asked my mom for Chicago Bulls Starter jacket for a winter coat. She replied, “Why would you want that? You’ll mess up your hair!”  I know she meant no harm by that statement but it’s a great example of how society thinks girls should ‘look’ and clearly the ‘boys’ winter coat I wanted wasn’t fitting inside that box. As a 4th or 5th grade kid, I couldn’t have cared less about my messing up my hair. Starter jackets were awesome and I wanted to rock it proudly!  And I did. *

This brings up an interesting thought and a question I’d like to pose: Had my mother never made those comments of what a ‘girl’ should or should not wear, would I ever have thought twice about it?

The point of my rant is we need to throw away the ideals of how girls and boys should act according to society and look at each other as individuals. I challenge you all to be exactly who YOU are. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Break the glass ceiling, challenge the status quo, and become UNSTOPPABLE!

*Side note- Mom, that was my most favorite winter coat and I thank you for letting me have it!