Everyone watches the Super Bowl for different reasons…some are focused on the actual game at hand, some tune in to see what commercials everyone will be talking about, and some just want to see the halftime performance to see if there will be any “wardrobe malfunctions” ala Janet Jackson. I watch for all three reasons. I must say that this year’s game turned out to be a good one even though my Saints weren’t in the mix, and Katy Perry delighted my kiddos by riding in on a lion and dancing with sharks (“Momma, those surf boards and beach balls have legs!”). But I digress.
So about those commercials…while everyone has their favorite (I mean, how could you not love the lost lab puppy with the clydesdale horses), there was one commercial that I think all parents, especially to young girls, should watch with their child. It is the Always commercial…yes, as in the feminine hygiene product company. This commercial is not new and in fact was released last year, but the message is worth reiterating. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out below.
“Like a girl.” Three words that, while, in my mind, should be a compliment, are often used in today’s vernacular to describe something or someone as being wimpy, awkward, weak, or dainty. As it says in the commercial, “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?”
“Ask a 14 year old girl what she likes the most about herself, and the silence can speak volumes.”
The premise of this commercial centers around the idea that self-confidence and body image often drastically decline beginning in the early teen years, for all teens, but this trend is especially true in girls. It is something that I see in my practice on an almost daily basis. Ask a 14 year old girl what she likes the most about herself, and the silence can speak volumes. Ask a young girl who has not yet been influenced by social pressures of perfection to do something “like a girl,” and she does it as any person would. In her mind there are no “social norms” that define how a girl should act.
“In essence, understand that the sky’s the limit.”
As a mom to a 3 year old girl who often wears a different princess dress and tiara each day of the weekend while having epic light saber battles with her brother and being the instigator of wrestling matches in the grass, I hope to empower my daugher that doing stuff “like a girl” should never be an insult. I hope to instill in her that no one, whether they are a girl or a boy, tall or short, of any color of skin or ethnicity, or are in any way “different” from those around them, should ever be made to feel that they must conform to fit in a stereotypical box. Hit the ball out of the park, run faster than the boys, throw a spiral 40 yards down the field, selflessly give of yourself, let your grade break the curve in class, stop to help those in need, strive to be the CEO - in essence, understand that the sky’s the limit.
So in a time when we are saturated with images of what a perfect female “should be” (look no further than the Carl’s Jr. or Kim Kardashian commercials that also ran during the Super Bowl), lets make sure that the correct message is reaching our young girls. Just because you are rockin’ your tiara doesn’t mean that you have to leave your running shoes or football at home. In other words, show ‘em how you do it “like a girl”, your way, and knock their socks off…