“Like a girl”

I will use the video “Always Like A Girl” as the cultural artifact to ground my research project, which is not only closely related to the topic of gender problem, but also reflects the common gender stereotypes in the contemporary society. At the outset of the video, it raises the first question to the audiences: what does it mean to something “like a girl”? In the video, the director orders five people who are at different ages to run, fight, kick, shoot, and roll “like a girl” (“Always # Like A Girl”). The outcome shows a strange phenomenon. Adults behave naturally, timidly and abnormally. While, teenagers behave confidently and powerfully. When the director asks one of the little girls about her own understanding of the mean of “run like a girl”, she answers confidently that it means run as fast as you can. Through this part, it allows me to powder over the quite distinctive gender identity in the minds of teenagers and adults. The second part of this video opens with a question: when did doing something “like a girl” become an insult? This section draws the audiences’ attention to a similarity of all targeted girls: a girl’s confidence plummets during puberty. The absolute majority of girls always want to change their gender at the age of ten to twelve. One girl’s claims that the female gender actually dropped her down and made her lose confidence since it seemed that people who were girls meant that they were weak and not good. At the end of this video, it makes a strong appeal to the audiences: let’s make like a girl mean amazing things.

Having watched this video, I am so astonished that the experiences of those girls in the video are quite similar with mine in the past years. I have witnessed a lot of confidence crisis among my friends and I just because we are girls. For instance, females are not intelligent as males so that they could not perform well in such different subjects as math, physics and chemistry. I remembered that I even felt ashamed in my adolescence due to my gender identity, makeup and body parts so that I was only willing to wear loose clothes and short hair, which were like a boy. As a matter of fact, this is just one of the most obvious gender stereotypes. When it comes to the words “like a girl”, people are used to think weakly and dis-empowering. It is an unconscious gender stereotype. As a matter of fact, there are deep gender stereotypes that are closely related to all dimensions of people’s daily lives such as personal traits, domestic behaviors, occupations and physical appearance. As a college student who is going to step into the working field in the near future, I proudly engage passionately in redefining the conventional and fixed gender stereotypes and gender discrimination. It is urgent and significant to redefine the meaning of the words “like a girl” into a positive affirmation.


Works Cited

“Always # Like A Girl.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 26 June 2014. Web. 15 July 2016.



4 thoughts on ““Like a girl”

  1. I watched that video a while back and I loved it!! Why are we taught to think “like a girl” is a negative phrase? Being a girl is so empowering, and it saddens me that not everybody sees it that way. The fact that people have to feel ashamed of their gender identity breaks my heart, and I 100% agree that we have to work together to redefine certain phrases in a new context that enables all girls to be proud of being girls.


  2. I just went and watched this video on YouTube – awesome! I fully agree with what this video, and you, are saying that it’s super important that the meaning of “like a girl” is changed into something without a negative connotation; being a girl IS empowering! Also, interesting that you bring up the point about “females being less intelligent” because growing up this concept was completely unknown to me (luckily), but during high school it was introduced to me as a very serious argument and it was (and still is) the biggest load of shit I have ever heard.


  3. Gender unfairness has been existing for a long time in humans’ history. Thirty years ago in China, some family would abandon their girls just because”they were girls.” And they wanted to have boys so that their family could be inherited( in which I really don’t see any difference from having girls). My grandparents will also feel a little bit upset if our relatives have a new girl instead of a boy. Is it just wrong to be a girl? I think this is ridiculous. And I agree with you that no matter in schools or careers, females should be treated as males because they can also be as strong, talented, intelligent and hard-working as males. If Chinese families still have their traditional mind of “boys are better than girls”, then I wish their boys will never find girlfriends because we have got 30 million single men in China already~~~ 😦 Sigh~


  4. I remember when I was in elementary school, I was playing handball with my friends and a couple of girls came over to play with us. Then a friend of mine told them they shouldn’t play with us because they’re girls and they might get hurt playing with guys. Back then, i thought my friend was being considerate as he was trying to prevent them from getting hurt. The phrase “like a girl” was something i said a lot, but didn’t think about until i was older. I didn’t realize how ignorant it was, judging all girls based on the few I’ve seen. Reading your response and watching the video reminded me of that.


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