Limiting phrases such as "girls aren't strong" and "only girls cry" seem to be from an era we're now way ahead of, but in a new Always social experiment it's been revealed that society's expectations of women are still leaving ladies feeling limited.
Data from an Always Confidence & Puberty Survey showed that 66% of girls questioned feel held back by society, which they feel dictates what they should and shouldn't be doing.
Earlier this year announcing the launch of their latest online video 'Always #LikeAGirl Unstoppable', Always partnered with award-winning documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield to highlight just how societal expectations have a profound impact on female's confidence, especially as they enter puberty.
Stirred by the campaign, 18-year-old Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams went on to deliver an amazing feminist speech in New York at Always' Confidence Summit. Read it in full below.
It's time to get out of those boxes. In fact it's time to get rid of them altogether.
It's time for society to stop telling girls what they should and shouldn't do. And instead through the quietest whispers and the loudest megaphones tell them that they are unstoppable.
It's time for girls to be free; free to nurture and celebrate whatever qualities and talents make them different. It's the most liberating time moving into adulthood. But that transition should not happen with labels and expectations, but with an open heart and mind.
Judgement and expectations are limitations that stunt our creativity. Imagine if we blew up all those boxes and smashed all those ridiculous limitations. We could think of puberty as a time where, instead of losing all of our confidence, we gather it. A time where you can truly become you - strong and ready to share with the world.
As an actor, my job is to change myself into someone else. Of course I bring my own perspective and experience to my roles but for me to truly build a realistic person I have to let go and stop taking control of my character's decisions. I have to forget about my preconceived ideas of who I think that person is, or how I think she should act and I have to work through a project in her shoes. I need to find who she is organically.
I have writers, directors, actors, friends, family and plenty of internet users who all have pretty strong ideas of who they think I am and who they think I should be.
I have more 'shoulds' than I know what to do with but in the end I want to be happy and I believe the best way to be happy in life is to be true to who you are, and I know that it's a phrase you've probably heard a million times but I really cannot stress enough how important it is to have a true sense of who you really are. Authenticity is what life is all about.
And guess what: we are all the stars of our own lives. We get to expand our character every day simply by getting to know ourselves and discovering new things. And no matter what you do with your days, with your work, with your selfhood, all of it begins and hinges on one thing: confidence.
Confidence gives us what we need in life. So build yours, protect yours, fight for yours, grab it with both hands and hold it like the course of your future depends on it. Because it does.
The world is desperate for leaders, male and female. It's not about gender, it's about purpose. You have a responsibility, an opportunity to share your gifts with the world. People want what you've got. Believe it. The Like A Girl movement has done so much to elevate the conversation. Girls we have to stick together, please support each other. And when you do feel lost and alone, remember: stay in your lane. Never mind what they're doing and just look at what you're doing and what you've done. Be proud. Stay focused. You're allowed to be the most important person in your story. Fan your fire, move from your core, and be quick on your feet. Sharp in your mind, gentle in your heart. Be authentic. If you can do all that? Well then get ready for greatness. Chin up, chest out. You are unstoppable. Like a girl.
Tagged in Maisie Williams