Photo Credit: YouTube
This Sunday's Super Bowl commercials generated just as much buzz as the game itself. On social media, people shared their candid responses to the heartwarming Budweiser puppy ad and heartless Nationwide "dead kid" ad. But one advertisement that surprisingly has received a lot of vocal backlash was Always' Like A Girl commercial which focused on gender inequality.
The 60 second spot had teenagers and young girls act out what it means to throw, run and fight "like a girl." The teenagers, to put it simply, threw, ran and fought badly, whereas the young girls gave it everything they had. The commercial is meant to show that to do something "like a girl" doesn't inherently mean to do it badly. It's a negative connotation that we learn and that we can change.
The commercial originally premiered back in June 2014 to many positive reviews and responses. But now that it's been shown to an audience of more than 115 million football fans, it seems that internet haters have found their voice.
Although many women showed their support on Twitter by sharing positive examples of doing things like a girl from their own lives, it wasn't long before those unhappy with the advertisement came up with their own hashtag: #LikeABoy. Critics and self-proclaimed "meninists" (people who believe men are oppressed by women) felt that it was unfair that Always (a company that makes sanitary napkins) made a commercial that only pertained to women, and aired their grievances via tweet.
The backlash to the "like a boy" hashtag was just as severe. Many people were in disbelief that a commercial meant to build up young girls' self-esteem had generated such controversy, and started using the hashtag to fight back against its users.
getting offended at every little thing people try to do to uplift women for once #LikeABoy— amara (@amaraconda) February 2, 2015
boys: *treated as the better gender since the start of time* *see one commercial uplifting young girls* *start sexist hashtag* #LikeABoy— farwz (@farwzaz) February 2, 2015
Things have since cooled down a bit in the twittersphere, so it gives us all a chance to reflect on the original message of Always' ad. As for us, we’d prefer to focus on the empowering females including athletes and soldiers who shared images of what it really means to do things like a girl.