“You run like a girl.”
“You throw like a girl.”
“You jump like a girl.”
How many times have we heard these phrases muttered? From the playground to professional sporting events, we continue to insult people by saying they do things like a girl.
But why is doing something “like a girl” a bad thing? Why are we still perpetuating the idea that girls are less capable than boys?
Title IX was passed in 1972 and ruled that no person can be excluded from any educational program or program that receives federal funding based on sex. With this, came the creation of more women’s sports team—something that previous women could only dream of.
A year later, Billie Jean King, 29, beat Bobby Riggs, 55 in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. She played tennis like a girl and won.
But “like a girl” has become so engrained in our minds as a negative thing and for some reason, females don’t see it as degrading. I would be lying if I said I never said some professional athlete “threw like a girl” when he messed up and got some laughs without realizing what I was really doing. I was perpetuating a stereotype and letting down the women before me who fought for a girl’s right to even throw a ball.
But I know that “like a girl” isn’t a bad thing. Just look at the title of my blog. I run like a girl doesn’t mean I run slow or wrong. It means that I run and I’m powerful.
Always recently came out with a commercial, #likeagirl, which really struck a chord with me. I hadn’t realized until watching it what we have done by making little jokes about doing something like a girl until I saw young girls believing the stereotype.
The video is moving and will get you to rethink saying “like a girl” in bad light again. You can watch it here.
So I encourage everyone to only use “like a girl” for good. When you accomplish something great, say you did it like a girl. We should all be proud of our bodies and what we can do with them. “Like a girl” isn’t bad. “Like a girl” is what we do.
Did you know that May 11-17 is National Women’s Health Week? While women should be thinking about and celebrating their health every week, it is great to have this week to bring more awareness to women’s health issues and to be proud of the health we do have!
The campaign asks women to take steps to improve their health by:
- Visiting a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventative screenings
- Getting active
- Eating healthily
- Getting enough sleep and managing stress
- Avoiding unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet
These are behaviors that we should be doing all the time but for this special week I challenge you to do something extra for your health. It could be trying a new workout or eating more fruits and vegetables. Go to that doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off or allow yourself to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
A little can go a long way! Take some time this week to appreciate your health and say thank you to your body.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a fellow female say, “I’m not lifting weights..I don’t want to look like a man.” And to be honest, I’m sure my 17 year old self muttered the same phrase when my Dad told me I should start lifting. But the reality is, lifting won’t make you look like a man- and it actually has some great health benefits for women specifically.
1. Lifting weights actually burns more fat. How? When you lift weights your body actually burns calories after your leave the gym.
2. Lifting builds muscle. That doesn’t mean you are going to look manly. You are going to look toned and more lean, more so than just sticking to cardio.
3. You’ll get stronger. This means you’ll be able to do more things and see your muscles grow. It can be so satisfying to start to be able to use heaver weights as you get stronger. It’s a tangible measure of how you are improving.
4. It increases bone mass. Osteoporosis is more common in women and lifting weights has been proven to increase bone mass in women.
5. Lifting is good for your heart. The American Heart Association found that those who lift weights have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease. Other studies show that those who lift have lower resting heart rates which is another great benefit.
These are only some of the many benefits that women can have from incorporating strength training into their workout plan. You don’t necessarily have to include weights in all of your workouts but maybe start with one or two days a week. There are many resources that can provide you with tutorials on the proper way to lift as well as provide you with some exercises to get started. You should start with lighter weights and then increase as you get stronger.
And don’t be intimidated if the free weight section of the gym is full of guys. Do your thing and get stronger! Your body will thank you!
I absolutely love Dove, for both their products and ad campaigns. In the past years, Dove has focused on redefining beauty for women and young girls. They are sending the message that you shouldn’t look like the models in the magazines because even those models don’t really look how they look in that ad or on that cover. This is so important as women are bombarded every day with these images which can take a serious toll on self-esteem and body image.
In it’s latest project, Dove takes on the trend of 2013- selfies. In a short film, viewers see the journey that teenage girls and their mothers take to see the beauty in their selfies- many of which were afraid to take. They were told to take pictures without hiding the things they did not like about themselves. The pictures are beautiful and you can see their inner beauty and confidence. The film premiered at Sundance and you can watch it here:
I think we can all learn a lesson from Dove and help redefine beauty. I challenge you to take a selfie right now- no matter how you think you look. Love it and share it. Here is my selfie- no makeup and hair undone. Show the world your beauty with #beautyis.
Wanting to incorporate more strength training into my fitness routine I turned to Pinterest for some “fitspiration.” There, I stumbled upon a great blog full of all different kinds of workouts- a whole section of which you can do at home! Jess at http://blondeponytail.com/ shares various workouts that all have one thing in common- they make you sweat! I’ve tried a couple of her workouts and loved them all but “Fesity 50” stuck out to me as it worked your entire body in about 30 minutes. I especially enjoy her workouts because she demonstrates all the different moves making it easy to follow along. You can also adjust the workout to fit your level of fitness. If you are just beginning you can start with 20 reps rather than the 50. I highly recommend checking out Blondeponytail.com to get workout ideas, nutrition information and some motivation! Let me know what you think of the workouts!
Soon, you might be adding another yearly screening to your checkup. Researchers have discovered that a simple blood test can indicate whether a woman as ovarian tumors which lead to ovarian cancer. The test screens for levels of a protein, CA-125. Women whose levels are above and below 35 are then given ultrasounds checking for ovarian tumors and ovarian cancer. This test is so important because often, ovarian cancer is not discovered until it has progressed significantly. This is a light of hope as the number of ovarian cancers deaths have stayed around the same levels for the past 30 years.
I have seen the effects the invasive disease has had on a strong woman, her family, and her friends and am happy to see strides being made in ovarian cancer research which could save the lives of so many. Until this blood test becomes routine, however, you should know how to protect yourself. Abdominal pain and a change in bowel and bladder habits lasting for two weeks should cause you to call your doctor for an appointment.
To learn more about the fight against ovarian cancer visit: The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.
The thought of participating in obstacle ridden 5k races such as Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash can be intimidating to many women. But do not fear! There is a race just for us! Dirty Girl Runis a muddy obstacle course 5k designed specifically for women to run alongside other women. The race has similar obstacles to the co-ed 5k mud runs but gives them fun, girly names such as “PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff)” and “Runaway Bride”. There are also detours so that if you do not feel comfortable doing a particular obstacle you can simply move on to the next one.
I believe this is a great opportunity for women to show that running like a girl is not a bad thing. There is something both comforting and empowering about participating in a tough challenge alongside other women who are rooting you on all the way to the finish line. And if that’s not enough to keep you going- there’s a free drink waiting at the end.
The Dirty Girl Run has races all over the country and is open to women ages 14 and up. Are you ready to run like a dirty girl?