It’s been a breakthrough week for women in sports. The Arizona Cardinals were the first National Football League team to hire a woman coach. Yes, Jen Welter has a doctorate in psychology, but she won’t be working in an office far away from training camp. She’ll be on the field coaching hulking, alpha male linebackers.
I was thinking about Jen Welter when the Unstoppable video popped up on my playlist. I loved the original #LikeAGirl ad, and this installment is just as good. The responses to “Have you ever been told that, because you’re a girl, you should not do something?” will astonish you.
Jen Welter forgot to listen to anyone preaching limitations. She’s hoping to encourage girls to also turn a deaf ear to popular criticisms:
“It shows them that anything is possible, and that’s so beautiful. To me, unfortunately, I think the hardest thing in our society right now – no offense – is the media. We [tell] little girls all the time to be beautiful and to do it all the wrong ways. We show them as accessories, for no other better way to put it. We teach them very early on to be pretty, marry well and then act badly, and you’ll get on TV. And then that’s what they grow up thinking that fame is or success is.
I want little girls to grow up knowing that when they put their minds to something, when they work hard, that they can do anything regardless of those things.
Adolescent female self-esteem right now in our country is at an all-time low. Adolescent females are more likely to accept drama in relationships, to be combative with their friends, all of those things, because we’ve shown them that image is more important than intelligence, that beauty is more important than talent.
Until we pick up and show women that are doing things because they’re awesome and not just because they’re pretty – how else will they judge themselves? And pretty is a standard very few people can live up to because it’s perfection, it’s Photoshop, it’s Instagram, it’s filters. I know I love the saying, “I woke up like this,” but I promise you, I don’t wake up like that. Very few of us do.”
End July with an exclamation point by taking Jen Welter’s words to heart. Whether you’re encouraging an adolescent girl in your circle or just giving yourself a pep talk, affirm intelligence, creativity and authenticity. Men and women, you are unstoppable!