What stops you from exercising or being active? Do you shudder at the thought of the word “fitness”? Maybe because of all the homogenized images we see of women in sportswear campaigns make us feel as if we need to look a certain way before we are worthy of donning the lycra?
What about all those weight loss reality shows that do nothing to encourage us toward optimal health, but rather fuel our appetite for junk TV?
We don’t exactly have to try hard to find excuses to put our fitness on the back burner. We live in an age where there are way too many awesome distractions. Besides, unless it is going to be fun, or we can bring our friends with us, why would we want to commit to something like that?
A new fitness campaign in the UK just launched and it aims to squash all those fears and trepidations we have toward fitness. This Girl Can is designed for every woman, every body, no matter where you are in life and health.
The video campaign doesn’t show excessively sweaty barbie dolls, it doesn’t portray military-style boot camp regimes, and it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable watching it. We see a series of ordinary women doing everyday activities such as dancing, jogging, swimming, and playing soccer.
Including a range of different body shapes and ages was done on purpose, not just to tick the diversity box, but to appeal to a wider range of women that they don’t need to venture far and wide to find something that will enable them to live an active life. Start small, start where you are.
The campaign was started by Sport England which is an organization committed to helping people and communities across their country create sporting habits for life.
“The campaign is the first of its kind to feature women who sweat and jiggle as they exercise. It seeks to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport by using images that are the complete opposite of the idealized and stylized images of women we are now used to seeing.”
“The campaign doesn’t hold back in trying to encourage women to beat their barriers. “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox” and “I kick balls, deal with it” are among the hard-hitting lines used in the campaign to prompt a change in attitudes and help boost women’s confidence.”
Research they have used to create this campaign shows that fewer women than men play sport regularly – two million fewer 14-40 year olds in total in the UK. Despite this, 75 per cent say they want to be more active. Their research also suggests these statistics are vastly different across other parts of Europe. They found that fear of judgement – on appearance, ability or how they chose to spend time on themselves – puts women of all ages off exercising.
“In This Girl Can we want to tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport. They come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of ability. They have a myriad of reasons for doing what they do. If you are wondering if you should join them – or carry on – this campaign says it really doesn’t matter if you are a bit rubbish or completely brilliant, the main thing is that you are a woman and you are doing something, and that deserves to be celebrated,” says Sport England CEO Jennie Price.
On the website they have a range of different videos featuring women from all parts of Britain who share their story about their health and fitness. There is also a section where you can “feel inspired” by looking at all the social media posts shared by women all over the country and the world who are on board with this brilliant campaign’s message.
Check out the video below and let it be a reminder to you today: don’t give up on yourself.