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You'll never use "like a girl" as an insult after you watch this

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Stop shattering girls' confidence

Are harmful messages keeping your daughter from giving her all? Find out how Always is empowering girls as they struggle against a crisis in confidence during puberty.

Most of us can relate to the awkward teen phase, especially when bodies start changing. Always surveyed 1,300 U.S. females ages 16 to 24 years old and found that while girls had plenty of confidence as adolescents, that confidence plummeted during puberty. Do harmful messages contribute to the drop in self-confidence many girls experience?

Girl swinging bat | Sheknows.com

Photo credit: Always/YouTube

The power of words

Throughout my childhood, my male peers always felt the need to do everything for me. Didn't show me. Didn't teach me. Just did it for me. Although I was never told I did something "like a girl," did I give off an "I'm not capable" vibe? Or are boys just raised to believe that boys can do things better than girls?

Especially when it comes to physical ability, girls get the verbal smackdown with phrases like, "You hit like a girl," or "You run like a girl." The Always survey found that

  • The majority (89 percent) of females ages 16 to 24 agree that words can be harmful, especially to girls.
  • Only 19 percent of girls have a positive association toward the phrase "like a girl."

Everyone is responsible for this stereotype. "Our new survey... found that words are powerful, and they do matter to girls, whether they come from parents, peers or society as a whole," explains Amanda Hill, P&G North America Feminine Care Brand Director. "In fact, our research shows that nearly 9 in 10 females agree that words can be harmful, especially to girls. The Always social experiment helps shed light on the power of words, demonstrating how the commonly used insulting phrase 'like a girl' can have a profound effect on girls' self-confidence."

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It's time to reclaim girlhood

Now more than ever, girl power and blossoming self-esteem are crucial to our daughters' success in life. "Always is raising awareness about the confidence drop that happens to girls at puberty, spurring conversation to help rethink and redefine the common words and phrases used in society that imply girls are weak or inferior," explains Hill. "That's why Always is embarking on this campaign — Always wants girls to be proud of what they do 'like a girl' — making it an expression of strength, talent and downright amazingness."

Read more tips on raising teens

5 Reasons why your kids should have cell phones
At what age should you let your daughter have a boyfriend?
5 Tips for traveling with tweens

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