What It Really Means to Fight Like a Girl

P&G is trying to change the way we're thinking about a phrase you've heard all your life.

Astronomical object, Space, Star, Latex, Latex clothing, Astronomy, Active pants, Tights, Hip,
(Image credit: Archives)

We hear the phrase "like a girl" tossed around a lot—and too often, it has a negative connotation. Run like a girl means trip and flail your arms around. Fight like a girl means slapping someone with weak wrists. When several adult women, and even a man and a boy were asked what it means to run, throw or fight like a girl, they did just that. The latest company to release a female empowerment ad, Proctor and Gamble's newest advertisement (opens in new tab), part of Always's #LikeAGirl campaign, is attempting to challenge these stereotypes.

What's really troubling is seeing the differing reactions between adult women and young girls—while young girls think that running and fighting like a girl means pushing yourself physically, running fast and throwing a killer punch, the adult women view the phrase in a more negative light. As one girl says: "it sounds like you're trying to humiliate someone." Saying that someone does something "like a girl" shouldn't mean that they're weak. It should mean they're strong. The women featured in the #LikeAGirl campaign realized their error—let's hope the rest of the world isn't too far behind.

Watch the ad here. (opens in new tab)

Diana Pearl
Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.