#Like a Girl

In many of the discussions about the Hashtag Bowl, also known as the Super Bowl, an ad that tugged at our heartstrings and began conversations keeps coming back up. Not the Nationwide ad – which less tugged at heartstings and more just really bummed us out – or the Budweiser puppy commercial, which didn’t start much of a conversation beyond those about how cool it would be if horses and puppies were really friends.

Instead, it was the Always ad, which so perfectly encapsulated the transition from fierce, energetic girl to insecure, weakened teenager that so many women know so well. Beyond the visuals of this ad – the mocking gestures and heavily made-up teenagers – the inclusion of the hashtag #LikeAGirl made all the difference. It took whatever we feel about femininity, whatever experiences we remember from growing older and losing our more confident edge, and allowed them to begin an important conversation through social networks.

Naturally, some social users took this opportunity to input their fairly mysoginistic views on how women are viewed. I’ll leave you with one user’s take on these individuals:

Like a Girl

Through the massive engagement of this hashtag, it is clear that women and men out there alike are eager to discuss these defining gender issues. According to iSpot, the #LikeAGirl ad generated 415,144 social actions just on game day alone. More than 2 million people have viewed it online. These numbers reflect the ever-changing social and cultural views on gender, women’s rights, and what it truly is or is not to be like a girl.

As a young woman, it is encouraging to see such engagement, especially during male-dominated entertainment and plenty of heartstring-tugging Dadvertising. The conversation doesn’t end here, as the implications of Hashtag Activism have not yet been solidified into direct social change.

However, in the many tweets I pored over with the #LikeAGirl hashtag, far more were about female empowerment, supporting daughters and sisters, and expanding our awareness of how our expectations affect young girls than about putting women down. The conversation has started, and we’ve witnessed the power of a hashtag combined with massive advertising dollars in getting a message through to an audience who may need it more than others.

By Cassidy Duckett
Emerging Media Graduate Program
Loyola University Maryland
This entry was posted in Advertising, Social Media, Super Bowl, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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