This video is part of the #LikeAGirl campaign by Always, a brand of feminine hygiene products. The campaign aims to keep girls’ confidence high during puberty and into adulthood, since “like a girl” is often used as an insult for girls and boys, which negatively affects the confidence and self-esteem of girls from a young age and especially at puberty. This video highlights the limitations and boundaries that girls feel pressured to conform to, including the things they are expected to be able to do or not do because they are girls. For example, one girl talks about how she feels like she has been told that she cannot be brave, and another says that she cannot be the one doing the rescuing because it’s always boys doing the rescuing in stories. In the video, the girls are answering the production crew’s questions about these pressures, and are asked to write down one of the things they mentioned on the side of a white cardboard box. They are then invited to physically tear down these limitations, by breaking up or overturning the boxes. Throughout the video, messages such as “Always wants every girl to stay confident…so nothing can stop her” are shown. The video closes with the Always logo, and the message, “rewrite the rules,” and an invitation to join the #LikeAGirl campaign.
In this clip from cycle 13 of America’s Next Top Model, the final six contestants travel to Maui, Hawaii – Tyra’s chosen “exotic” location for the second half of the season. This photo shoot is held in a sugar cane field, and each of the six girls is asked represent the cultures of “two very distinct races” – for example, Botswanan and Polynesian, Tibetan and Egyptian, Mexican and Greek. Tyra and Jay explain that their inspiration for the setting and theme of the shoot is the “hapa” or multiracial heritage of the Hawaiian Islands.
Recent years have seen a trend in which teenagers post videos of themselves, asking viewers if they are “good looking” or “ugly”. This clip was one of the first to gain popular media attention, getting numerous comments and being picked up on mainstream news shows. An article in the Huffington Post described that, “The sheer number of these videos, and how regularly their creators reference other ones, suggests that a virtual community has formed around the concept.”
Ask Amy is a web series produced by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Network, with new episodes appearing approximately twice monthly. It features writer/producer/actor/comedian Amy Poehler reading aloud a letter from an adolescent female fan and dispensing advice. The video’s low production values and Poehler’s thoughtful, direct-to-camera delivery convey the sense of conversing in the same room with the self-styled mentor. Published online on September 9, 2012, this installment of Ask Amy entitled “Bodies” was an immediate sensation and, one year later, had garnered nearly 375,000 views— more than 7 times the average number of views per Ask Amy installment. In “Bodies,” Amy advises a body issue-beleaguered letter-writer to regard her body with gratitude and to speak to herself as if she were speaking to a beloved daughter or younger sister. See the full transcript here.
Produced for the 2015 Super Bowl, Toyota’s How Great I Am ad follows Amy Purdy (a double-amputee and Olympic medalist) as she participates in her different life activities: jogging, snowboarding, dancing and mountain bike riding — all with the assistance of her Toyota Camry. Showing the world “how great [Purdy] is,” despite her disabilities (and with Toyota’s help) is a central theme of the commercial. Purdy shows her greatness through athleticism and gritty work ethic. Quotes from a speech by famed heavy-weight boxer Muhammad Ali, narrate these visuals, intensifying the drama of Purdy’s role. Through audio and visuals, Purdy and Ali are simultaneously “knocked down” or defeated. Viewers, in turn, see Purdy’s struggle and triumphs as a double-amputee within the context of Muhammad Ali’s history as a boxer; in order to achieve greatness, Purdy must exhibit the highest athleticism.