This Girl Can
Sport England recently launched their new campaign, The Girl Can, designed to encourage women everywhere to get more active. The very instant I got a whiff of this, I was of course really keen to get involved and I am very proud to be partnered up with them. The date of the official launch was January 12th — the advert, that has already racked up over 2 million views, was first shown during an ad break Monday evening.
So many campaigns designed for women are…
a) really patronising
b) doused in pink to the point of nausea OR
c) they feature very glamorous and skinny models with perfect make up and tiny frames — therefore leaving the average women with curves and working sweat glands feeling exceedingly fat and alienated.
There is such a huge and misplaced focus on how females look, as opposed to what they can do, and the media often perpetuates a totally unrealistic and quite unhealthy standard for women.
And so it was on the edge of my seat that I braced myself for the This Girl Can launch.
I will happily confess that I didn’t stay on my seat for long because I was so overwhelmed with pride and excitement for the advert, that I leapt up with excitement. I wasn’t alone — social media has been buzzing with the ripples of this campaign ever since Monday. A quick search of #thisgirlcan will reveal women and men everywhere fully backing this fantastic endeavour. Could it be that FINALLY us girls are being represented in the main stream in a way that does us justice? Here are my favourite things about the campaign.
1. Real Women!!
This has got to be top of the list. It is so amazing and utterly refreshing to see a mix of body shapes in an athletic setting. All shapes, all ages and all sorts make up this world — it’s about time that was embraced. I think this advert took a real stand against the pressures of women everywhere to look a certain way and was incredibly uplifting as a result. Enough of the body shaming, bring on the body pride? Hell to the yes!
2) Here come the girls
Part of what I love about this campaign, is it has females everywhere absolutely gunning to get involved. It’s like one giant high 5 rippling around and it’s lovely to have a platform to directly encourage ladies everywhere to get active. I am obviously a huge advocate for this anyway (see some recent thoughts about this here) but there’s something special about launching it directly for girls in this way. Sport is still hugely dominated by males, not least in the coverage it gets in the media and in the pay discrepancy when comparing athletes. Even gyms can be an intimidating environment for women. This campaign, by getting us all talking and by unashamedly being ALL about the girls is making that first step a little bit easier. It also featured several different sports which I think is vital because there’s such a huge variety of options out there.
3) Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox
I think this could well be one of the best taglines I’ve EVER heard. I love my sweat. I love it because I have to work really hard for it and I find there’s something immensely satisfying about pushing yourself to look like a total mess and not giving a damn. I actually used to feel incredibly self conscious — believing that only the unfit people got sweaty. However, as I became more involved in the fitness industry, my mind set shifted and I came to appreciate my dishevelled appearance a lot more-it began to represent achievement and if I’m not drenched in sweat at the end of a training session, I feel cheated. I’m all for wild hair, a bright red face and giving it your all: wear your sweat with pride, ladies — it cannot be bought, it can only be earned by hard work!
4) “I kick balls. Deal with it.”
Last, but definitely not least, I adore that the campaign makes no apologies for anything in it. It hasn’t crept up to be subtle and gentle — it’s landed at full volume to make a point. And it’s a point well worth making. Simple, but effective — This Girl Can is a call to action. This Girl Can is a reminder that we are far too mighty to let concern of judgement stop us. This Girl Can is about knowing that rest feels better after hard work. There is no room for doubt: there are just 3 little, yet powerful, words:
What did you make of the campaign? I would love to hear your thoughts!