Hey, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and all your NFL counterparts! I'm talking to you. If you quarterbacks would proudly state you throw "like a girl" you could change that phrase's insulting meaning to one of power—and give a whole generation of girls an amazing boost of self confidence.
While Russell and Tom were pretty busy during yesterday's Super Bowl and didn't get to see the ads, feminine hygiene brand Always aired an ad featuring footage from its "Like a Girl" campaign. Launched in June, the campaign set out to change the phrase's meaning from weakness to power with a video of young girls demonstrating strength when asked to run, throw, or fight "like a girl." Older males and females in the video, however, act meekly when given the same command because they've learned the bad connotation of the phrase. A study done for the campaign showed that girls' confidence plummets around puberty, which may be why older women respond differently to "like a girl."
While I'm sure that's part of it, I personally think it has more to do with kids learning that girls aren't expected to be as strong or tough as boys, so by the time they are adults they know doing something athletic "like a girl" is an insult. Of course, we know this is not true. Girls (and women) can be just as bada$$ as boys (and men). And as smart. And cool. And awesome in every way.
Before the Super Bowl, nearly 55 million people had watched the Always video on YouTube, so a lot of people were already impacted by the campaign, and thanks to the big game's audience—more than 112 million watch—now even more people could be moved by this powerful video. But I can't help but want even more impact.
So here it is, NFL quarterbacks: I challenge each of you to make a video saying, "I throw like a girl and I'm proud of it" and share it on Twitter with #LikeaGirl. Let's get this trending ASAP and show girls, boys, women, and men that being "like a girl" is nothing to be ashamed of.
Want to help me challenge them? Re-tweet my tweets from @ellenbird, tweet Russell and Tom with the pre-written tweets below, or adapt it to your favorite team's Q.B. by swapping in the appropriate Twitter handles.
For the Seattle Seahawks, copy and paste:
I challenge @DangeRussWilson to say "I throw #LikeaGirl and I'm proud of it" in a video to change the phrase's meaning and support girls
For the New England Patriots, copy and paste:
I challenge Tom Brady @Patriots to say "I throw #LikeaGirl and I'm proud of it" in a video to change the phrase's meaning and support girls
Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who proudly does everything "like a girl." Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest to see more of her articles about kids and parenting, home design and DIY projects, and food trends and menu ideas.