“I kick balls, deal with it.” “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox.” “I jiggle therefore I am.”
These in-your-face lines punctuate a sequence of video clips showing everyday women of all ages, shapes and abilities hard at play… working out, playing sports, and pushing their bodies with absolutely no concern about how well they do it, how they look or how sweaty they get.
It’s a refreshing departure from the idealized “active women” images advertisers continuously shove down our throats, and the official kick-off to This Girl Can, a national campaign developed by Sport England, an organization committed to helping people and communities across their country create sporting habits for life.
Inspired by their own research that showed fewer women than men play sports regularly (two million fewer 14-40 year olds in total), yet 75% say they want to be more active, Sport England says it’s “the first of its kind to feature women who sweat and jiggle as they exercise.”
The relatability, “I see myself in them” style of the campaign is designed to encourage a change in attitudes toward female sports, help boost women’s confidence, and get more women and girls active.
Sport England CEO Jennie Price said, “Before we began this campaign, we looked very carefully at what women were saying about why they felt sport and exercise was not for them. Some of the issues, like time and cost, were familiar, but one of the strongest themes was a fear of judgement. Worries about being judged for being the wrong size, not fit enough and not skilled enough came up time and again.
“Every single woman I have talked to about this campaign – and that is now hundreds – has identified with this, and it is that fear of not being ‘good enough’ in some way, and the fear that you are the only one who feels like that, that we want to address.”
We wonder if this same attitude of fear and judgment prevails among women in the US. What do you think?