I’ll be honest. As a man, I never pay attention to commercials on feminine hygiene products. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to anyone reading this. I find them uncomfortable and awkward, even if it’s just me and my wife, watching TV alone at home. I’ll make an excuse to either leave the room until the commercial is over, or engage in a conversation with her about something completely unrelated.
As the father of 4 daughters, however, I choked back a few tears as I watched this particular commercial. From Always, of all companies! And during the Super Bowl? Wow!
When you think about it, however, could there be a more perfect time to air an ad like this? Not just “the BIG game” timing, but during this generation, and in our world, in general.
Just A Girl?
For as long as females have been on earth, they’ve been subjected to some hurtful stigmas; some even used as insults to boys- “You’re such a girl!” “Stop acting like a girl.” “You run like a girl.” “You’re crying like a girl.” “You can’t do the same thing as boys.” “That’s women’s work.” “This sport is only for boys!” “You’re not strong enough…you need a man’s help!” And the list goes on!
Unfortunately, our wives and daughters have heard this for so long, that they’ve started to believe this about themselves. They really think they’re not as strong, not as good, and not as smart, or as worthy as the boys. They’ve lost their self-confidence, and their worth as human beings, because the world has convinced them that they’re “just a girl!” and nothing more.
Why does this happen?
The Target on our Girls.
You don’t have to look too far or too hard to discover how true this is. I don’t really need to mention the multi-billion dollar pornography industry flowing around us like open sewers do I? Nor do I need to mention that an alarming rate of young girls are being kidnapped and trafficked in global prostitution. Or maybe I should mention this. Maybe I should make one glaring thing clear. Regardless of our so-called equal rights society, our women are degraded every day. They are portrayed as weak, vulnerable, or trophies to be won, instead of human beings to be loved and cherished, and treated with respect. Unfortunately our daughters see this and then look in the mirror at what they believe is a “not-good-enough” version of themselves.
Add in the absence of parental affirmation, mostly from their fathers, and it’s no wonder our girls fall victim to pornography and sex-trafficking. Too many young girls are growing up with an extremely low self-image. They’ve bought into a lie that says, “You’re just a girl. You’re an object. You’re game for boys to hunt!” Look no further than Nickelodeon or Disney to find this truth.
When did acting like a girl, or being a girl, become a bad thing? And when did this target, that society places on them, become their identity? It’s unfair, and it’s untrue!
Re-writing the Rules!
It’s time to re-write the rules. Yes, our girls need to embrace the awesome person God created them to be, but it’s also our responsibility, as husbands and fathers (and even moms), to help them see this and believe this. If we want the rules that have crippled our society for so long to change, we need to be the catalyst behind it. Truth is, my daughters are strong. They’re beautiful and talented and smart. So is my wife. They have every reason in the world to be proud of the gender they are and the gifts they’ve been blessed with.
As their husbands and fathers we have to invest in our girls and let them know how valuable they are. They need to know how much this world needs women, who believe in themselves and aren’t afraid to stand up, rise up, speak up, and be the leader God created them to be. Fact is, I want my wife and daughters to act like girls, because that’s who they are, and that’s the way God made them. He never makes a mistake!
Believing in our Daughters.
Being a girl is a good thing. In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Not only are our daughters going to be future leaders, mothers, and wives, who help to change this world, and lead their families, they’re leaders now. All of them. The culture we live in hits them hard with stigmas and stereotypes that just aren’t true. The only way they’ll believe otherwise is through our belief in them. From both their mothers and fathers.
I believe in my daughters. I believe in my wife. I believe they’ve been perfectly created to be just who they are. They are girls. They are strong. They are leaders. And you better believe they are going to act like it!
How can you encourage the girls in your life?