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Be Empowered #LikeAGirl
By: Jennifer Graber
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At some point in our lives, we have all probably been told we throw like a girl. Maybe you have even been told to stop crying like a little girl or to stop acting like such a girl. One of my favorite things is being told to man up. These things are often said in jest, but pack quite a punch. The implication of being told not to cry or act like a girl is that being a girl is not enough. Being a girl, and being told to man up, means there is an inherent weakness. Being a girl will never be as good as being a boy. But we know that to be untrue.
The Always brand, from the parent company of Proctor & Gamble, sought to change that with its #LikeAGirl campaign. The campaign initially made its debut in 2014, but Always recently revamped and released a shortened ad during the Super Bowl last weekend. The ad featured both men and women being asked to perform some action “like a girl.” Those asked to do the specific task performed it with arms flailing about and a lackluster effort.
Always’ ad then goes on to question this way of thinking by showcasing girls being bad asses just as anyone else would. They hit and throw normally. They act like a regular person — not a dainty object. Always goes on to question when being a girl earned such a negative connotation, and when it became such a bad thing. Ultimately the ad was meant to spur you into action, which is how the hashtag #LikeAGirl came about.
The feminine hygiene brand encouraged people, specifically women, to get involved online. Always wanted women to tweet awesome things they can do like a girl. The brand wanted to show that being a woman should not be viewed as restrictive or limited. Women can be strong and powerful. Women can be anything they choose to be. 
Ladies flocked to Twitter to share their #LikeAGirl stories. Women shared photos of running, jumping, fighting for our country, and many other inspirational things. It was not long before the hashtag and campaign went viral. It was one of Twitter’s trending stories shortly after the Super Bowl. A majority of the digital discussion was positive and uplifting.
Of course, it would not be the Internet and social media without some unpleasantness. The hashtag #LikeABoy showed up after “meninists” complained that the campaign was geared more towards women. The #LikeABoy hashtag garnered responses as well and, naturally, went viral. Honestly, there were some ridiculous responses. By ridiculous, I mean rude and chauvinistic. Thankfully, the Internet came to the rescue and responded just as sassily as the “meninists.”
An open and frank discussion is far different than being a jerk. Let us be clear about that. A hashtag that creates such a rift is not a problem. It is perfectly OK to have varying points of view, and be in search of equality for men and women. What is not OK is using the Internet for bullying and taking down other members of society. #LikeAGirl is taking on the world, digital and real, like a boss. It is a wonderful thing when the digital world is used for good.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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