Last week, an organization that encourages women of all ages to be active in the UK, released an inspirational video depicting girls and women going hard at a variety of fitness activities. The video plays Missy Elliot’s “Get Your Freak On” as women of all shapes and sizes work hard, sweat, and love whatever form of exercise they are doing.
According to Facebook, the This Girl Can campaign was developed by Sport England and “celebrates the active women everywhere who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get.” The real kicker is their differentiating point. The This Girl Can campaign doesn’t focus on weight loss or fitting into a size determined by numbers, but rather, the importance of the feeling you get after a good workout. Some call it a runner’s high, some call it exhaustion, but it is depicted perfectly as a girl collapses on her couch after a good run. There is a satisfaction of working hard when working out.
Sport England is directing attention away from numbers (how much you weigh, what size jeans you want to get into) and directing women’s energy towards fitness as fun. It’s encouraging women to find their passion, whether it’s a Zumba class, running, or squash! Sport England describes the campaign as “a celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets.” It’s about forgetting what you look like when you’re getting really into an activity you love. For example, there’s a lot of sweating, jiggling, and shaking as some women are depicted doing Zumba – but their smiles shine through the sweat.
This campaign utilizes a video that makes a bold statement and has become viral doing so. The This Girl Can campaign video has reached over 3 million viewers. This further shows how change can happen, one step at a time, through visuals and social sharing. Similarly, Change.org released a video highlighting the fact that 5,000 petitions on their site became victories this past year. The powerful, emotionally-charged video inspires people to feel that they can make a difference.
Youtube has become a powerful tool for influencing change worldwide. Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign emphasizes a strong message; regardless of size or sweat, women should be active for themselves no matter what others may think. Change.org brought to light that people everywhere and of a variety of backgrounds are influencing decisions in governments and major companies worldwide.
One of the phrases that stuck most in the This Girl Can video is “I jiggle therefore I am.” We all jiggle, we all sweat, it’s about finding your passion and making a difference. A one minute and thirty second video may have millions of views, but it’s the message behind it that goes viral.