When I was in early grade school, my best friend was a young boy named Jamie that lived at the end of the street. It was mostly a friendship of convenience since we were within walking distance of one another, but we did enjoy playing imaginary games and talking about our future with one another too. Until one day when I came home in tears because I told Jamie I was going to be a firefighter when I grew up and he told me that only boys were allowed to be firefighters.
Our society has come a long way since my childhood days, but misconceptions and prejudices like the one I faced as a child still crop up in surprising places. My sister, upon completing her schooling as an electrician with top marks, wasn’t able to obtain a degree because no company would offer her an apprenticeship. A fellow school friend with a passion for hockey had to fight for years for a place on the boys’ team because all the other girls her age were playing Ringette instead. Instances like these are why I’m such a big fan of the Always #LikeAGirl campaign.
The idea is to take back a phrase that was stolen from young women to make us seem weak, foolish or incapable of realizing our dreams. Whether we’re watching Michelle Carter throw like a girl as she wins gold in the Rio Olympics for Shotput or Malala Yousafzai fight like a girl in her selfless quest to ensure women have access to quality education, being like a girl is something that we should be using to empower each other for all our amazing accomplishments!
To help make that a reality, Always has partnered with Walmart for the 50 Teams, 50 States program. Working together, the two companies will provide one girls’ team in each of the fifty states resources the players require to keep playing #LikeAGirl. From equipment to uniforms to facility upgrades, girls’ teams in need of a little help will be able to show the world what they can do thanks to this new initiative! Want to see for yourself the difference this program is making? Check out this touching video about Always and Walmart meeting with the Lady Riders junior high basketball team in Hulbert, Oklahoma.
Even though most girls will forge a path into the future that likely won’t involve playing a professional sport, the confidence-building power of sport is something that makes it incredibly valuable in the life of a young woman. That confidence is something that will continue to have a positive impact for a lifetime and help create women determined to show the world they know how to face challenges #LikeAGirl. Learn more about the program on the Always website and encourage your girls to take back the phrase too. It’s time to show the world what being like a girl really means!