Mumbai: In the wake of India’s success at the 2016 Olympics, the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ is going through a positive transition and has ensued heartening conversations such as – “They fought #LikeAGirl” or “They played #LikeAGirl”, but we still seem to have a long way to go before each and every girl can do things “Like A Girl” and Be Proud of it.
A survey, conducted recently by Nielsen in association with the country’s leading Feminine Care Brand – Whisper, revealed that 1 in 2 girls in India agree that the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ is still used as an insult. “You run like a girl”, “you throw like a girl”, “you fight like a girl”, “you play like a girl” are common insults heard or said that can have a significant effect on girls’ self-confidence, especially during puberty.
According to the survey, girls in India were found to be facing a considerable drop in self confidence, especially after having reached puberty, due to the various societal norms and restrictions that they are expected to conform to. At such a stage, phrases such as ‘Like A Girl’ being used in a mean and hurtful manner add to the feeling of being pressurized.
Sharing an insight on how the incorrect usage of the ‘Like A Girl’ phrase affects young girls self confidence, versatile Bollywood actress Radhika Apte, said, “Young girls go through many changes on attaining puberty. Not just physical, but even societal changes. They are suddenly expected to behave in a certain manner or abide by certain restrictions. In fact, every girl at some point in time has been told that there is something not quite right with the way she does things. A common phrase that only adds to this self doubt is ‘Like A Girl’. I am happy to see Whisper India taking a lead towards bringing attention on the kind of adverse impact that such a phrase, when used as an insult, can have on a girl’s self confidence. I feel doing things “Like a Girl” should only mean doing it with strength and character.”
Talking about the importance of the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ undergoing a positive transformation, ex-Roadie turned VJ, Bani J said, “It’s imperative for girls in our country to continue doing things that they truly believe in. Especially when society tells them that there are things they can’t do- just because they’re girls. They shouldn’t let it affect their self- confidence, their sense of self. Girls should feel confident and proud when told they do things ‘Like A Girl’. I’ve experienced this first hand, where I’ve been told – on countless occasions that ‘Girls shouldn’t lift weights, lifting is for guys’ or that ‘Riding a bike is not for girls’, ‘baggy clothes and short hair are so ‘Tom boyish’ but guess what? I have continued to do the things that I love #LikeAGirl, and I am extremely proud of that. Major props to Whisper India for the amazing ‘Like A Girl’ video. It’s truly inspiring for us girls and an eye opener for everyone in our country, I hope it helps women and girls see the ‘Like A Girl’ tag in a new perspective and take it forward.”
Actress Soha Ali Khan further added, “It’s amazing that recent happenings such as the very heartening conversations around Shah Rukh Khan’s beautiful poem ‘Fight Like a Girl’ and the outstanding display of Girl Power by the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics, have given a positive spin to the phrase ‘Like A Girl’. Having said that, I do believe that this is just the beginning and there is a still a long way to go before we can truly reclaim the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ and make it mean amazing things. I’m happy to be associated with a brand like Whisper India that has been empowering girls in our country and continues to do so with their movement towards encouraging girls to be unstoppable #LikeAGirl.”
The ‘Like A Girl’ movement was launched by ‘Always – the global brand name for Whisper, outside India’ in the USA and select global markets in 2014. It has been widely supported by organizations such as UN athletes like British cyclist Laura Trott (winner of two gold medals in Rio 2016) as well as the popular USA Soccer star Alex Morgan among others. With the perception of the phrase Like A Girl undergoing a positive change, Whisper truly believes that it’s time that the campaign strikes remarkable synergies with this resolve in India as well.
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