FEMINIST FRIDAY: Under Armour’s New Models “Unlike Any”, Goldieblox Wants Girls To “Be Like Her”

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, our weekly column where we get to share our favorite videos of the moment while also sharing what our definition of feminism looks like, in a world where there are far too many misconceptions floating around! This week, our line-up is all about girl power in a way that will inspire those who watch to defy boundaries, define life on your own terms, and find role models who do the same.

You may already be familiar with fitness apparel brand Under Armour’s female empowerment focus, which we’ve previously written about here. It featured trailblazing American ballerina Misty Copeland, who is now back for round two with the brand, along with some other badass women, for their ‘Unlike Any’ campaign. Through a series of short videos featuring a variety of female athletes from around the world accompanied by stirring, goosebump-inducing and poetic narration, the emphasis on female strength is both uplifting and inspiring.

“Each of our athletes in this campaign have shattered expectations and challenged the status quo on their respective playing fields. For ‘Unlike Any,’ we set out to celebrate and elevate our athletes to where they belong—above gender roles, above labels and above convention,” said Adrienne Lofton, SVP Global Brand Management at Under Armour.

Along with Misty, the women include Dutch athlete Fleur Jong, a disabled runner with prosthetic legs, Harlem Run Crew founder Alison Desir, world champion sprinter Natasha Hastings, professional stuntwoman Jessie Graff, and Chinese taekwondo champion and actress Zoe Zhang. World Champion Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn will be added to the campaign in a video released in the Fall.

Artists who narrated the videos which are set to sweeping visuals and cinematic shots of the women displaying their talents include rapper, singer-songwriter, actor and poet Saul Williams, contemporary poet, writer and activist Aja Monet, London-based musician, rapper and spoken-word poet Kojey Radical, award-winning poet, author and political activist Dominique Christina, and Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. It was SO difficult to pick just one video to share with you, but we settled on Natasha Hasting’s video. However we IMPLORE you to watch each masterpiece video in the series:

Our second Feminist Friday video features writer and a comic actress Tima Shomali from Jordan, who was featured in a recent campaign by Netflix during the month of Ramadan called ‘Doorha Botoula’, meaning “Her Role is Being the Hero”. The idea was to put a spotlight on women creators from various walks of life — and, therefore, women in general — in the Arab world to break down stereotypes and misconceptions.

Tima was a perfect fit for this, as her own series ‘FemaleShow’ regularly attracts tens of millions of viewers in the Middle East. Yep, it’s about damn time we knew about her elsewhere in the world! Her 2 minute piece which she directed and co-wrote, Tima portrays the often opposing narratives assigned to women in the Middle East, and challenges the way the Western world views these women.

“There are different levels of cultures and levels of thinking. You can not generalize [about] those women who live in one city from the other. In Amman, we are told to ‘work as you wish but find a way to take care of the kids.’ In Irbid, on the other hand, a woman can not leave her home or express her opinion … or whose husband has multiple wives. You can not generalize [about] the culture. It is very different from city to city and town to town,” she explained to NY Times reporter Zainab Salbi.

Her video seems to be as much of a message to fellow Arab women as it is to people elsewhere in the world looking into their lives, which sadly seem to be dominantly portrayed by biased newsmedia. Videos like this are important as they have the ability to start a nuanced conversation about the complexity of human life. We don’t exist in the black and white or the binary. Well done to Netflix for making this mini campaign, they should perhaps consider bringing Tima’s show to their streaming platform:

Finally, something for the young girls. Toy brand Goldieblox are back with yet another empowering video, this time recognizing the power of role models. Their ‘Be Like Her’ video also pays homage to the Women’s March, which just celebrated its 6 month anniversary of building a resistance, led by women!

In the video, we see young girls channeling famous female icons such as, Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Princess Leia, and ‘Hidden Figures’ Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. The power of positive role models in the lives of young girls cannot be stated enough, especially women who defy the societal norms which seek to force young women to conform to beauty standards that tell them they are not worthy unless they look a certain way.

Screw that, Goldieblox are here to remind everyone that girls are far more powerful and worth far more than simply their external appearance.

“#BeLikeHer is all about honoring the women and girls who push us all forward. We all have role models in life, now is our chance to shout out a handful who have made us especially proud,” says the description about the campaign on their Youtube channel. Goldieblox are also encouraging girls to post pictures of themselves on social media using their hashtag, explaining who their female role model is.

“Girls can’t run the world until someone shows them how,” says the video, and we couldn’t agree more!



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