June 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM ET
Since when did "throw like a girl" become an insult? According to a new ad from Always, somewhere around puberty.
The new campaign had a documentary filmmaker ask women, men and boys to act out what "throw like a girl" and "run like a girl" mean. Out came the stereotypical limp arms and silly facial expressions. Then she asked pre-pubescent girls the same questions. The viewer's heart can't help but melt as the kids throw, run, and fight as fast and as fierce as they can, demolishing "like a girl" as a negative social myth.
Then the swelling music swooshes in.
The video was spurred by a new study from Research Now, sponsored by Always, that found more than half of the girls surveyed claimed their self-confidence levels dropped around puberty and when they got their first period. So the feminine products manufacturer says it's trying to spark a broader conversation around female confidence. And yes, there's a hashtag.
"We're kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing," wrote the P&G brand in the description on its YouTube clip, which has over 10 million views.
The campaign is part of a larger trend to recast as a social statement which brand of female-marketed products you choose. Dove has been doing "social experiments as ads" for a few years now, GoldieBlox launched a line of girl-empowering engineering toys, and startup Hello Flo has caught attention with its frank and funny ads about girls getting their first periods.
It's still marketing, however. Click through to the landing page Always has set up for the campaign and there's little more than prompts to re-tweet the message and buy more feminine hygiene products.