Acting ‘like a girl” should not be an insult

Back in May of 2014, Always and its parent company, P&G, conducted a study surveying 1,300 American women between the ages of 16 and 24 years old, and the findings are striking: More than half of girls said they experienced a drop in confidence at puberty, and an overwhelming 89 percent agreed that words can be incredibly harmful for self-confidence. Only 19 percent had a positive association with the phrase ‘like a girl'— but more than half (57 percent) think there should be a movement to change the negative perception of the phrase.


That’s where this video comes in. Directed by documentarian and photographer Lauren Greenfield, it shows what happens when individuals are asked to do specific actions “like a girl.” At first, the responses are disheartening: Older girls and women asked to “run like a girl” flailed their arms, locked their knees together, and pasted big, silly grins on their faces. A boy asked to “fight like a girl” enacted a stereotypical cat fight. Everyone asked to “throw like a girl” stuck their elbows to their sides, put no energy behind the throw, and gave up easily.

But then came the actual girls — girls between the ages of five and 13. They gave the actions their all, running, fighting, throwing, and kicking with the best of them. One little girl when asked, “What does it mean to you when I say, ‘run like a girl?’” answered, “It means run as fast as you can.

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Meridith Dennes is a co-founder and the CEO of Project Eve LLC, a leading women's lifestyle media company online including some of the web's best loved communities including the eponymous Project Eve, Getting Balance, Project Eve Moms, Project Eve Money and Scary Puppy Silly Kitty. With a digital readership in excess of 20+ million monthly uniques, and over 1 million social media followers, Project Eve provides the news and resources to inspire and empower women. Meridith also works as a digital consultant and social media strategist and has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to help increase brand awareness and improve social media engagement.Meridith holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Prior to founding Project Eve, she spent 15 years working in investment banking. Meridith currently lives in Vermont with her husband and 2 daughters and spends her free time teaching skiing, practicing yoga, hiking and snowshoeing.