Mumbai: After winning performances by Indian women at the recently concluded Rio 2016 Olympics, the taunting phrase ‘Like A Girl’ is no more considered demeaning, a new survey has revealed.
The survey found a positive transformation of the usage of the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ in conversations. Descriptions such as ‘he fought like a girl’ or ‘he played like a girl’ are no longer considered demeaning, said the findings by Whisper sani-care and Nielsen released here on Thursday.
However, nearly 50 per cent of all girls still feel that the descriptions ‘You run like a girl’, ‘You play like a girl’ have a significant negative effect on their self-confidence, especially during puberty.
After reaching puberty, 70 per cent Indian girls face a considerable drop in self-confidence levels due to various societal norms and restrictions conferred on them and then phrases such as ‘Like A Girl’ used with malafide intention add to the pressure.
Also 60 per cent girls become less involved in outdoors activities like sports, and 50 per cent feel that the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ is used for boys with the intention of putting them down.
The survey revealed that 50 per cent girls felt that such phrases are hurting and a form of ‘bullying’ tactic.
However, Indian girls are challenging this perception daily by excelling in sports, arts, business and other fields representing their strengths, talents, character and downright amazingness of each.
Bollywood actress Radhika Apte said young girls experience many physical and even societal changes on attaining puberty due to which they are suddenly expected to behave in a certain fashion and abide by several restrictions.
“Every girl at some point is told that there is ‘something not quite right’ with the way she does things, and phrase ‘Like A Girl’ adds to the self-doubts,” Apte said.
VJ Bani J. said it is imperative for Indian girls to continue things they truly believe in, especially when society tells them that there are certain things they can’t do just because they are girls.
“They should feel confident and proud when told they do things ‘Like A Girl’ — and not allow it to affect their self-confidence and sense of self,” Bani said.
Actress Soha Ali Khan said recent happenings and a poem by mega-star Shah Rukh Khan ‘Fight Like A Girl’ have given a positive spin to the phrase ‘Like A Girl’.
“This is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go before we can truly reclaim the phrase ‘Like A Girl’ to make it mean amazing things,” Khan said.
The ‘Like A Girl’ movement was launched by Whisper in the US and select global markets in 2014 with the support of UN Women, and celebrities like Masie Williams, Laura Trott and Alex Morgan, among others.