As a mum to two daughters with my oldest being twelve year's old I worry a lot, as being a teenager in today's society can be hard work. You are expected to preform well at school, sometimes school can be tough as other girl's can be rather mean, your body is changing as you reach puberty and you have crazy hormones rushing around your body. You are also often expected to conform to how society think's you should be. It is fair to say my eldest daughter is turning into a huffy teen at times, but I try to give her some slack as I remember being a teenager myself all to well and how much I hated it. I felt awkward and self conscious all the time and sometimes felt like I did not fit in or did not behave how society expected me to. I don't want my own daughters to feel that way, I want them to grow up happy and confident in their own skin and for them to believe that they can be and do whatever they want in life.
So when I heard about the new #LikeAGirl Unstoppable campaign from Always I knew that I had to find out more as I remember watching the original campaign last year. Last years campaign set out to challenge the negative perception people often have to do things "like a girl " as it is often used as an insult, I know I have heard this phase said a lot of times with people saying things such as "don't cry like a girl " or "don't throw like a girl", often to boys. The campaign went viral last year and was viewed more then 85 million times in 150 countries and shared by more than 1.5 million people worldwide, which is phenomenal.
This year on the 7 th July Always launched the follow up to last years successful campaign named #LikeAGirl unstoppable, which aims to help girls stay confident during puberty and beyond. Always have carried out a survey* which found that 59 % of girls lose confidence at puberty and many never fully recover. Which is a rather depressing fact for us parents, so if you are a parent to a daughter then you really should watch the video below as it is so powerful. I knew that I had to get my own daughter to watch it with me as I don't want her to ever feel like she is boxed in by society as 84% of UK girls who were surveyed felt that society putting girls into boxes had a negative impact on their lives. I want my girls to be whoever they want to be in life and full of confidence and self belief.
As soon as I put the video on my daughter Chloe surprised me by saying " Oh I have already seen this, people were talking about it at school so I watched it on You Tube." Pretty impressive saying as the video has only been out for a couple of weeks but has already had a huge 14 million views. I asked if she understood what the video was about and she said that it is about when people say that girls cant do thing's that boys can, and that sometimes people think girls have to behave in a certain way. She is only 12 and already she understands gender stereotyping.
I thought that it would be a fun activity if I gave Chloe a white box and and got her to write on it things that people have said that she can't do just because she is a girl. She spent a few moments thinking about it and then she wrote down be good at playing football. I asked why she said this and she said because people say only boys can play football and girls are rubbish at it. I asked if she likes playing football and she said yes it is her favourite PE lesson, she even used to be on a girls football team in primary school. I reminded her that girls can play football just look at the amazing British women's football team, her response was that she wanted to carry on enjoying football and is better then some of the boys, that's my girl.
The second thing that she wrote on the box was being funny, I asked her why and she said because most people say girls should not be funny and that only boys can be funny and play tricks. Now I know my daughter and she loves playing pranks, telling jokes and making people laugh I reminded her of this and said that she can tell jokes and be funny as that is who she is and that is what makes her who she is.
She then wrote cant be strong, again I asked what she meant and she said that boys are stronger then girls. I said yes sometimes as they are bigger then girls but girls can still be strong not just physically but mentally too which she readily agreed with. She then crossed everything she had wrote off on the box and asked if she could kick it over like in the video as she could do all of the things she had written down. Of course I said yes as I don't ever want her feeling boxed in or like she can not do something just because she is a girl.
I think that the campaign is just fantastic for highlighting to girls and even women too that yes sometimes society may try and box you in or say you can't do something, but it is up to us mothers and women to teach our children that no matter what, you can do or be whatever you want and not to let others put you down as every girl deserves to be happy and confident and believe she is capable of anything she wants.
If you have a daughter why not watch the video together, get a box and let your daughter write on it what she thinks a girl cant do and then help her squash those belief and let her know she can do those things as she is unstoppable and pretty amazing. Don't let puberty and society steal her confidence as she is unstoppable just #LikeAGirl.
This is a collaborative post, however all views are my own and I really do think this is a pretty amazing campaign.
* Source The Always confidence and puberty wave 111 study.