Super Bowl Sunday has become an advertiser’s dreamland. Since the big game is the highest rated broadcast of the year, companies shell out millions of dollars to gain a commercial spot. Most commercials are funny, some are tear jerkers, but this year, one ad has gained a lot of attention for another reason.
Always ran an ad entitled “Like a Girl” in which adults and children were told to complete actions such as running, throwing a ball and fighting “like a girl.” First, we see the adults demonstrating the actions by prancing around and fluffing their hair, meant to explain the negative association with the phrase “like a girl.” Then, we see the children demonstrate the same things. What they did was eye opening.
When asked to demonstrate what it means to run like a girl, they just ran. When asked how a girl would throw, they pitched the ball back to the director like pros. And when they were asked to fight like a girl, they showed just how tough a little girl can be. It seems these girls haven’t yet encountered the phrase “like a girl.” They still have the confidence in themselves that many women have lost. The ad that Always ran was a reminder to all women: You know that spunky little girl you used to be that believed she could do anything? She’s still there, we promise.
I remember sitting on the sidelines during elementary school recess and watching other kids play. Every time I saw a girl chase after the ball or score a goal, I would say, “What is she doing? Doesn’t she know she’s a girl?”
Every girl will be told to quit doing something that they love because “girls don’t do that,” whether it be playing sports or climbing trees or rough housing with their brothers. They’re shown how a girl should be: pretty, quiet, clean, etc. When they realize that they don’t fit those qualifications, their self-esteem plummets. The girl that once believed she could do anything becomes the girl that is just trying to fit in.
Junior high is when I can first remember thinking I had to change to be seen as “perfect.” I started to pay attention to the seemingly flawless women in the magazines that were the “normal” way for girls to look. I needed new hair, I needed more makeup, and I needed prettier clothes, and then people would like me. Yhe truth of the matter, is these insecurities are what end up defining most girls as they grow into adulthood.
The makers of the “Like a Girl” ad had the clear intention of speaking to the hearts of all the women out there who have lost their sense of self in their efforts to turn themselves into society’s idea of a perfect girl. Forget the cute puppies and the hilarious celebrity cameos, this was the best Super Bowl ad of 2015.