When my brother and SIL found out they were going to have a baby, they both wanted a girl (they did not have a girl). I thought this was insanity. While I’m not sure motherhood is my cup of tea, I pray already that if I do decide to steep, that I have a boy. My husband and I joke about sacrificing a daughter to the gods if one comes about. There are a variety of reasons I don’t want daughters (and mostly, like my decision not to have children right now are for my own selfish reasons): they’re more expensive, they can get pregnant, there’s the pink and the dolls and the sleepovers and the glitter, and I prefer being the only princess in this house. But beyond all that, I don’t want to have a daughter because being a girl and having a girl is hard. It was hard when I was young and it’s only getting harder.
It’s funny then, that despite not wanting daughters on the same level that I don’t want to contract the bubonic plague, I care so much about the resources today’s girls have. This really came to a head 3-ish years ago when I started volunteering as a coach for Girls on the Run in Chicago. Don’t think I was going into the Southside and bringing hope into impoverished neighborhoods or anything like that. I was actually on the North Side at a fairly well off public elementary school…where I was probably far more relatable. And the first year, I was pretty taken aback by what these 3rd-5th graders were dealing with at that age. A light example…I had no idea what pores were in 5th grade…let alone use pore size as an insult and/or spend my time in the bathroom crying and stressing over my pore size.
I learned so much as a coach for GOTR. I actually can only hope that the girls I coached learned as much from the experience as I did. I think I’m better suited to serve as a positive role model for my 10 year old goddaughter/niece/cousin thing (really a cousin but I’m generally called Auntie) and my best friend’s baby girl. I think I’m more in touch with what young girls are going through. I learned how smart and intuitive young girls are- they pick up on everything. Perhaps even more so- I learned from my co-coaches. I learned how women can be so supportive and uplifting to each other, I met moms who seem to have it all together and learned that a) that’s not entirely possible, but more so b) what these super moms prioritize and how they juggle it all to be real-life human super moms. I even got to chance to learn a huge lesson with my first grown adult, woman-on-woman nastiness. (Final lesson: haters gonna hate and you have the choice and the power to decide how it will affect you.)
Unfortunately, there is no GOTR in Scotland. I had reached out before I even moved….And since I don’t have daughters in school myself, it might be a little difficult to get a group started at a local school. But I’m pretty excited because I reached out to the AWA facebook page about any type of group similar to GOTR here. Some other expats were also missing GOTR and pointed me in the direction of Girl Guiding. I’ve reached out a couple weeks ago and am waiting for the chance to meet with them and see how I can fit in this non-profit that “enables girls and young women to fulfill their potential and to take an active and responsible role in society.”
And what makes all this rambling relevant? I just saw that Always paid for a spot during the Super Bowl for their #likeagirl commercial. BRILLIANT. It makes me tear up more than that Budweiser puppy (which says a lot). I saw this commercial a few months ago and fell in love with it then. Here is the full 3-minute version (the ad aired Sunday was an abbreviated 1 minute one):
To follow it up, the UK, which can really be amazing and forward thinking in so many ways (and so, so far behind in others) just started airing a “This girl can” commercial. I see it about once a day now so they’re really pushing it.
This Girl Can is developed by Sport England. Right now it seems they are looking for bigger partnerships: gyms, companies with money, teams, schools and only in England- not yet Scotland. They state that they’re “a sassy celebration of active women everywhere and proves that whatever our size, ability or previous experience, sport can be a fun and enjoyable part of our lives.” I mean, who doesn’t want to be a part of a sassy celebration of ladies?!
It only makes sense that I partake in #wcw (woman crush wednesday) on Instagram to highlight a badass woman who can: Kathrine Switzer. Who as a feisty 20-year-old, who, despite the best efforts of some, was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967.
And let’s tie this up with one big PINK bow. Women only make up 25% of the registered Paris Marathon runners. WHAT?
And on behalf of all the marathon psychology books I’ve been reading, these inspiring commercials, and GOTR lessons, I’m gonna crush the Paris Marathon #LIKEAGIRL #thisgirlcan