I freaking love it. I love taking this horrible little phrase and using it to highlight all the badass, awesome things that women and girls do. Like:
Brainstorming cancer cures #likeagirl
Or shattering figure skating records #likeagirl
Or being the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate #likeagirl
And there’s this great commercial playing during the Super Bowl that asks, “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?” Cool commercial. Pulls at the heartstrings. Talks about something important. And also reminds everyone that girls have periods and we should buy a certain brand of pads. #likeagirl #dontforgetyourperiod #always
Wait. What was that last part?
Always, with what I hope are good intentions, just snatched up a really important cultural touchpoint, and slapped their absorbent, swoopy logo on it.
So now, if you search twitter or Facebook for #likeagirl, instead of a flood of posts detailing how girls and women are a force to be reckoned with you get…ads. Basically. Tweets about the ad. Tweets about entering a contest for Always brand products. There are a couple of real girl/women stories sprinkled in there—some by Always itself—but mostly it’s just about the Super Bowl ad.
And here’s why this really bums me out: now I can’t give a little hashtag fist-bump to cool women/girls/stories without also being a shill for Always feminine products. They took something that belongs to girls, women, and feminists and hijacked it. Sucks.
So, if you’re *really* about empowering girls, Always, let’s drop your self-promotion from the hashtag, okay? Let’s not have #likeagirl be about your brand identity. Let’s have #likeagirl be about…girls. Being awesome. Whether they use Always pads or not.
And internet peeps—go flood #likeagirl with actual stories of actual girls and women you know doing awesome stuff. Maybe we can steal it back.
Also, check out Emily Shire’s piece on The Daily Beast about how to normalize menstruation and affirm girlhood without making it all about you—the brand.