If you tell Lauren Greenfield that she runs or fights or talks “like a girl” , she will probably say thank you. After all, she is responsible for the fact that more than 13 million people are now reconsidering what that phrase really means.

She was commissioned by the “Always” brand to investigate our negative connotations with the expression, the director produced an advertising campaign that has sparked a national debate on women’s empowerment and self-esteem.

In the hood is Greenfield on set asking men, women and children to act running, fighting and throwing things “like a girl.” The cartoonish responses reinforce the stereotype that girls are weaker and less determined than boys .

When Greenfield prompts little girls to demonstrate the same actions, the reactions are impressive.

“One of the things this campaign was interested in seeing is how girls deal with the crisis of confidence that happens at puberty. Everyone knows that ‘crying like a girl’ or ‘running like a girl’ is not a compliment, but no one takes the comment too seriously or considers it a harm, “he said.

“We had no idea what people would do when asked these questions,” Greenfield said. “It was surprising and moving to hear their responses. It made us realize not only how deep and ingrained stereotypes were, but also people’s desire to change them. Being aware of what we take for granted is the first step to change, and I hope this is a point of focus in what is considered a trivial observation so that you can create a more powerful conversation in the next generation. ”

“‘Like a girl’ should never be used as an insult,” Greenfield said. “It means being strong, talented and downright amazing.”


By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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