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#LikeAGirl: Insult or Compliment?


After watching the Always #LikeaGirl commercial during the Superbowl, I felt inclined to say something. I recently posted an article, The Stigma of An Emotional Woman. The article basically discusses the negativity surrounding being a woman and being emotional. It is not much different than the #LikeAGirl insult that we hear on a daily basis. Since when did it become okay to insult women? Why isn't it okay to be a girl? Why are we teaching our children that being yourself is not okay? I want to touch on all of these questions because as much as I love our country, the fact is that we are dealing with suicides on a regular basis. A lot of the suicides are young children and teenagers who are being bullied. This needs to be a subject that is discussed frequently.


The Always commercial touched on fact that girls are underestimated and that they can do anything that others can do. I want to take it a step further because the stigma of being a girly girl is completely ridiculous. It isn't a secret that boys and girls don't always fit into this perfect mold of a stereotype that has been created in this country. I just don't understand why girls AND boys get made fun of if they show any kind of weakness, whether it be physical or emotional. The issue with this is that we are teaching our children to either hide who they are or to be ashamed of who they are. Some may ignorantly call this tough love saying something like, “I am teaching my daughter to prove everyone wrong.” Making fun of someone is not how you teach them. Not everyone has a tough skin. While some girls grow up with the confidence that she can be whoever she wants, others will grow up uncomfortable in their own skin.

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I think it's important to tell our children that it is okay to be whoever or whatever you want to be. It is okay to be “girly” and feminine. It is okay to be sensitive and emotional. It is okay to be tough, strong, and empowering. It is okay if you aren't great at sports or at speaking in public. It is okay if you are a tomboy, just as much as it is okay to be a pretty little princess. The phrase #LikeAGirl is used in such a negative manner. It should be a compliment, not an insult. The world needs girly girls, just as much as it needs tough boys.

So what does “like a girl” mean to me? If someone is acting “like a girl” it means they are being compassionate, sympathetic, loving, nurturing, powerful, strong, tough, driven, and beautiful. So my suggestion is that the world should strive to run, walk, talk, and love “like a girl” because girls are beautiful creatures and should be referred to as so. I would love to see “like a girl” used as a compliment, rather than an insult.

I write about my emotions in hopes that my words impact someone's life one day. Ya know, like a girl….

Answer This: What do you do “like a girl”?

Thank you for reading #LikeAGirl: Insult or Compliment?. If you liked this article, be sure to check out my other #WordsForWomen articles by clicking on the hashtag or clicking here.

XoXo Joyce

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  1. I think I do everything “like a girl” meaning I do everything I set my mind to, because that’s what girls (and boys) should do, right? I think that this is a very strong commercial and I love that people are finally talking about a phrase that has been part of our culture for such a long time. Not only does it affect women but also men who feel that there are specific ways in which they should be living their life.

  2. Stephanie C. says:

    I love this campaign! I think it really depends on the context in which it’s used. I’m a girl and love being a girl. I think the most important thing about the whole campaign is that when you look at the YOUNG girls, they don’t see any barriers to being a girl…they run, fight and play strong. The fact that the older girls and boy attach a weak image to the “like a girl’ message is what makes it insulting. We have to make sure our girls keep that idea they have when they are young, that they are no different, that they can do anything. I have twin girls and I hope I can instill this in them!

  3. MJ says:

    I love the Like A Girl campaign. I think it’s a simple yet effective way to get the conversation going especially with young boys and girls. Working to change the stereotype and stigma has to start somewhere. I love being a girl and I am raising my girls to love who they are and know they can do anything they set out to do.

  4. Vera Sweeney says:

    I love being a girl!!! I think in this day a lot of the old stereotypes are being pushed away more and being broken. I loved this commercial during the Superbowl I think it sparked a lot of great discussion around the country.

  5. April G says:

    Really, I don’t feel like I do anything “like a girl” except have babies. I often feel out of place when I’m around girls, talking about their latest or greatest buy, trends, television shows, or books. However, I didn’t like that commercial.

    On one hand, I thought it was funny how it was presented, but on the other, I thought it was just a weird statement to make. Some girls do throw like that, and why is that an issue?

  6. I loved this commercial so much. I saw it a few months before the Superbowl on youtube and it really touched me. I mean, the whole thing doesn’t really bother me but I can see how some women would be offended by sayings like, “you throw like a girl” etc.

  7. Hmmm…’like a girl’, what does that mean to me? I can honestly say that I haven’t be exposed to as much negatively surrounding that statement as other people have. It’s never been used against me to put me down, but I have heard it used towards boys when they sniffle, cry, or show ‘weakness.’ That bothers me. I don’t know what to say about what I do ‘as a girl?’ I never thought of it that way, and that’s the way I was taught. I personally loved wearing dresses as a child and cute shoes, acted like a ‘tomboy,’ and was taught to change sparkplugs at a young age…so I received well-rounded treatment and that has shaped my viewpoints greatly. I always thought it was ‘normal’ to do things that people typically considered ‘boyish’ or ‘manly.’

  8. Krystal says:

    The only thing I can be is myself! I hate stereotypes and the media seems to just propagate them like crazy. I wish we could all just along, right?! I love being a girly girl but don’t want to known JUST as that!

  9. It bothers me when being emotional is taken as a negative thing. It is actually one of the essences of a woman to show emotion and it should be viewed in a positive light. Thank you for your very thoughtful post on this.

  10. I like being a girl. I think that girls can do just about anything if they set their minds to something. Being a girl is not an issue as long as you do what you think is best for you.

  11. brook devis says:

    Ahhhh it depends on the poiny of view of wach single persone. I am a girl and i am proud to be a girl.i cant say in this way if ita a compliment or inault because o repeat every1 can see this with a diffrent angle.

  12. This is so true..and I like being a girl!!

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