Hell Yeah, This Girl Can!

Photo by: BBC

The familiar beat of Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On fills the room as images of women exercising appear on the TV screen.  But this is no ordinary advert. The ‘This Girl Can’ campaign is an initiative created by Sport England in order to inspire women to participate in more physical activity and sports. The thought-provoking ad depicts women of all shapes and sizes taking part in various exercises. These clips are placed alongside slogans such as “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox” and my personal favourite, “I jiggle therefore I am”.

The striking advert is hard to ignore, women sweating on bikes, boxing, swimming, dancing and jumping. Flesh wobbles and mascara drips down their faces and their breathing is loud and laboured – but the women are loving every second of it. According to recent Sport England research, women are less likely to become active due to body image and fear of failure. This advert aims to quash those fears and encourage women to embrace their bodies and take care of their health. In order to do this, Sport England took to the street in order to cast normal women for the campaign. The final seven are aged between 14 and 51 and you can read more about each one on the This Girl Can website.

In recent times, the world seems to have gone fitness mad with more and more people signing up for the gym and getting fitter. However, what about those of us who have been left behind? A number of friends have expressed their worries about going to the gym, stating “I’m not fit enough” or “I need to lose weight before I wear those clothes”. We are so used to seeing beautiful glamazons on social media from bikini clad women on Instagram or the gorgeous women (such as the Kardashians – how I love to obsess over that family!) It can be easy to forget that not everyone looks like them. This campaign attempts to portray women in their most natural state, no Photoshop and no idealisation, and cellulite on full display. Sometimes it is nice to be reminded that not everyone is bikini ready.

I am a big fan of this advert, (if for no other reason than the fact that it has reminded me how much I love Missy Elliott – seriously though, let’s bring back Missy Elliott!). The advert is successful as it realises who its target audience is, regular women. Women who are tired of being told that they are not good enough, fit enough, or skilled enough to exercise. This campaign celebrates women as it promotes the message that any woman should be allowed to get active without fear of judgement from others.


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