This Girl Can – Empowering or Undermining?

If you haven’t already seen it, you really need to watch the Sport England, This Girl Can video. This one right here:

Now when I first saw it I loved it! I thought “Hooray! Real women who look healthy and happy!”. It made me want to go to dance glass with my friends, go to the gym, get sweaty and not care about it. Even better, for once it wasn’t because I thought I needed to do something to get in shape, or change my body, but because the video reminded me how good it feels to do exercise I enjoy.

Then I read this article which gave me pause for thought. Is the positive message of body acceptance really undermined by the use of the word ‘girl’ as opposed to ‘woman’? It is really still giving in to societal norms of objectifying female flesh?

The article really made me pause and think about the video and the message it was actually sending…and I stick by my original feelings. I think the video is empowering and positive. I think it encourages women to feel comfortable with their bodies and to do exercise, not because it will give them the ‘perfect’ body, but because it will keep them healthy and happy. I don’t feel patronised or undermined by the use of the word ‘girl’ because although I know myself to be a strong independent woman there is, and always will be, part of me that feels like a little girl. The part that finds wonder in everyday things and lets her imagination get wildly carried away with itself and loves disney forever.

I also think the video shows women engaging positively with each other as friends and teammates. I think the whole idea behind the campaign is great and I really hope that it inspires women to feel more comfortable with who they are.



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