Like a Girl

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Growing up was fun, and I was fortunate enough to be in a safe neighborhood in Brazil where I was allowed to play in the street with other kids, ride my bicycle after school until dawn, always surrounded by other girls, boys, many were my age, a few older, some younger. We all played together and how we played didn't matter. We just enjoyed each other's company.

There was a moment during the pre teen years, I can't quite figure out when, I started to hear expressions referring to my sports skills as if I wasn't good enough. I remember hearing that I played soccer "like a girl". Thinking back, at the time in Brazil soccer was a sport dominated by men, so I guess I just convinced myself I was not "man enough" to play the game.

One of the most remarkable moments was when I was taking an elective class in high school. It was a class in electronics, and I was the only girl in between other 15 boys, everything was fine, except here and there some of my friends would ask me why I didn't choose something more "girly". I always ignored the questions, but one day, the electronic's teacher told me that my "voice was just too feminine". Now for people that know me, my voice is anything but "girly" or squiggly, and noting I was only girl in a class with other boys, my voice would sound way more feminine when compared to the group.

Surprise right? I am a girl. I'm not "girly". I am just a girl. I was born as a girl. I grew up as a girl. No matter how old I'll be, I will always be a girl. I put make up on when I feel like looking prettier. I do wear skirts and dresses. I rarely wear anything in pink (my favorite color is actually blue). I raise my daughter teaching her the importance to take care of ourselves, because no one will do it for you. I do things in a feminine way. However, some of my friends say I am quite nonchalant when coming to the way I dress myself and wear accessories.

Now that my girl is a toddler, it scares me how much "being a girl" can scare you. It can impair you to deal with society and to have a healthy self-steem. Girls (and I include all ages when I say girls) should not be ashamed to be "like a girl". We are allowed to be girls and embrace the fact that we are different than men. We are wired in a distinctive manner. And that's the way it is.

For awhile now I have seen more and more awareness about the topic, and programs like FearlesslyGiRL, WriteGirl, Empowered Girl Alliance, to cite a few, are out there to empower young girls, teaching a entire new generation to be bold, authentic in their lives, community, as professionals. Educating our society that is ok to be "like a girl".

The famous feminine products brand Always, joined the supporters of this empowering community and just release a new commercial demonstrating what the words "like a girl" can do to a young teenager. Please check out the video bellow on YouTube, and see for yourself how much we need to change our culture and how a simple change can impact an entire generation.

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