With the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon drawing many female runners last weekend, from the Ethiopian winning trio to actor/activist Gul Panag and pâtissier Pooja Dhingra, the Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign inspires women to stop worrying about their looks and take up a sport, irrespective of their shape or size. With clever, motivating catchphrases like “I jiggle, therefore I am”, “Hot and not bothered” and “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox,” the campaign makes sweat sexy.
Statistics from Sport England show a significant gender gap in exercise levels across the UK with two million fewer 14 to 40-year-old women than men play sports regularly but 75 percent of women say they want to be more active. “Research into what’s stopping women turning their ambitions into reality found that a fear of judgement — on appearance, ability or how they chose to spend time on themselves — puts women of all ages off exercising,” reads a statement on the Sport England website. To counter the reasons behind why women are not as active as men in sports and encourage change, the campaign lauds women who have found their own ways of breaking personal barriers, like the mother of three who gets her kids to join in her workout and an accident and emergency nurse who does Zumba with absolute abandon.
With Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak On as their soundtrack, this irreverent television advertisement is a call to all women who fear being judged for their body shape or size, urging them to get out into the world because #ThisGirlCan.