Always “Like a Girl”
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Always “Like a Girl” commercial was not only a hit in the media world, but a hit to the hearts of many women across the nation. In this commercial Always attempts to reach out and inform Americans of the damage caused to a female’s confidence when they do finally hit that age in their lives where insecurities begin to exist. Positively using their credibility and reputation to target a worldwide issue among woman so that it gains enough awareness to hopefully get fixed. Women working their whole lives to break society’s doubt so that they aren’t classified under another demeaning stereotype when asked, “What does it mean to do something ‘Like a Girl?’’’. “Show me what it looks like to run like a girl”, opens the commercial and the eyes of the audience. Reeling them in with curiosity to think why doing things “Like a Girl” automatically means you’re doing things wrong.
Always effectively portrays their credibility by taking everyday men and women and having them do the simplest actions that prove we live in a world where when someone asks you to do something “like a girl”, that automatically means to do something in a weak and silly manner. This phrase has become something beyond disrespectful, practically disempowering to most, if not all, women that hear it. Lauren Greenfield, documentarian of the “Like a Girl” commercial speaks out of the lack of confidence girls begin to develop due to the many stereotypes women try their whole lives to prove untrue. It’s become somewhat of a cancerous issue, now targeting girls at such young ages. Think to yourself of the girls you know and see every single day that are always concerned about their hair, makeup, appearance. Always intends to diminish that. To rid of the conscious thought that frazzles confidence. Greenfield wants to teach girls to learn to talk to themselves, not listen to themselves, convincing what they can and can’t do.
Greenfield’s use of men and women of different ages is a strongest form of ethos in this commercial that allows the nation to see just how valid her claim is. Her technique of using both sides of the stereotype depicts the idea that this commercial is beyond a feminine product. Shortly after capturing the attention of the audience by proving stereotypes to be true, the commercial follows with a form of contrast that compliments the idea of her claim. She begins with using responses from women to now moving to responses from men. Men and little boys in the commercial running like they don’t know how to, throwing a ball like they don’t know what a ball is whenever they are asked to do it like a girl. Greenfield’s use of everyday people gives her the credibility that shows there is indeed a barrier between men and women, which in turn shifts woman’s confidence indefinitely. As the audience, including myself can get a first-hand look at exactly how that occurs in everyday life.
Those who are the only female sibling in a family of brothers can understand that no matter how hard you try, no matter how fast you are, strong you are, your brothers will never admit to the idea that a girl could possibly beat them at something. Greenfield uses the men in this commercial to show how at times, egos blind the male eye and mind into thinking that a girl could do something at the same if not better caliber as them. Always is a much respected company, trusted and used by woman nationwide for feminine products. The company uses the trust they’ve established to market their own #LikeAGirl campaign, knowingly that women’s trust is theirs. Allowing them to expand and load the mind with whatever it is they’re trying to promote. Some could argue that this video was simply another way to advertise their product. It’s safe to say that this was not your typical “pad and blue liquid” commercial. Not once was there ever talk about feminine products, nor was there any demonstrations promoting them.
The absence of a feminine product primarily emphasizes the idea that confidence is what they were addressing. Not how their product beats any of the others on the market. This was just a strategic way for Always to use their reputation and apply it to a cause that needed awareness. Immediately after Always uses a form of contrast with men’s opinions, the commercial follows with comparisons. The documentarian then brings a younger generation of interviewees (little girls) and asks the same exact questions that she asked the women who have been or are going through puberty. As the audience can compare their answers, the confident responses given from the young girls expresses what Greenfield is aiming to convey. “What does it mean to run like a girl?” “It means to run as fast as you can.” The writer here then gains the trust of her audience by proving to show that she’s accurate.
The statement “Like a Girl” hasn’t changed, but because of this confidence crisis the way it is interpreted, has. What’s being said in the questions themselves that are being asked, allows the audience to really interpret and understand that this is the expectation that women live up to. Which can be seen in the commercial, is not initially very high. Greenfield uses the young boy and the man in the commercial in a logical way that allows the audience to really see how girls are not only depicted in society, but how women are also portrayed when it comes to a man’s opinion. When the little boy is asked if he just insulted his sister, filming that he was somewhat puzzled and including the take where he fumbled and stuttered his words a little, really allows the audience to see that his reason goes beyond his own. She wants to audience to see that majority of society doesn’t even know the damage this stereotype causes.
With this stereotype, most women find fear in attempting to perform to their full potential, not only because they’re afraid of getting ridiculed, but because in today’s society, no matter if a women were to perform to her fullest extent, it’s unacceptable because of being a girl. Society doesn’t realize how much this diminishes a girl’s confidence only because it’s established as somewhat being okay to do so. “A girls’ confidence plummets during puberty”. Greenfield provides this statement effectively, so that when woman all around the world read this, they can sit back and think to themselves that it is true. The ability this commercial has to engage and relate to whomever watches it (women of course), is its reasoning all on its own. The experiences that women have went through, or situations that haunt the back of their minds are the fuel to the fire of this very simple statement.
The vast amount of similar situations that woman have gone through when puberty hits, THAT is what supports her reasoning. She allows the audience to supply their own real life situations and experiences that have occurred to support her. Confusion, realization, inspiration, determination, in that order. It’s not only the use of young kids and male and female adults that make this commercial hit home, but the sight of their true, unrehearsed reactions that can really trigger the audience emotionally. That is what Greenfield wanted the audience to experience. Always knows that every single day woman are constantly working against the struggle of confidence. The commercial wants the audience to realize that day in and day out, woman are baffled as to what is expected of them in a male-dominant society. The facial expressions given by every single one of those girls when asked to run, throw, or hit like a girl shows it all. Weak? Uncoordinatedly? This targets a different part of the female audience, who can run, throw, and fight like any guy can.
Those who believe that there is no difference between what men and women do. Women including myself are confused as to how that stirred up to begin with. Then we come to realize that the problem isn’t what others’ think, it’s what we as women think of ourselves as a whole. Greenfield wants America’s women to understand that confidence is only as high as we allow it to be. A women’s confidence is masked by the shadow of everyday stereotypes. The commercial wants us to feel as though stereotypes should be no more. To come to the realization that the stereotypes continue to exists because women do not have the help to remain entirely confident to break them. The very last girl in the commercial speaks out and for all the women in the audience. “Keep doing it because it’s working”. We as the audience finish off the commercial feeling inspired.
Women need to stand up and tell themselves that no matter how it’s done, as long as it gets done, whether you are a girl or not shouldn’t matter. Closing the commercial with someone as strong as the last girl to speak, is intended to be used as a motivation. She is used as a tool to help inspire all those who lack confidence so that one day, all girls have the mindset that she does. So that there will be no such thing as women lacking confidence. So that when being asked to do something like a girl, you do it with strength, coordination, and CONFIDENCE. Greenfield intends for this to be a large movement with the hopes of it spreading like cancer. From one girl to the next, progressively making its way to all the women in the country. Always aspires to be the light at the end of the tunnel.
Day by day women are only hurting themselves by supporting the stereotype “Like a Girl” only because there is no confidence to move past them and embrace that being a girl is a good thing! Its overall purpose was to educate women all around the world and give them the determination to build the confidence they need so that the statement no longer has an everlasting, negative impact. The idea that equality should exist in no matter what world we live in. That the only gap between what women can and can’t do, is confidence.