New “This Girl Can” Ad Tackles Periods, Motherhood and More

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Health organization Sport England is back with another installment of “This Girl Can,” an ongoing campaign that shelves glossy, unrealistic depictions of women working out in favor of more relatable portrayals.

Since its 2015 launch, the campaign has been lauded for showing women in all their sweaty, tired and imperfect glory mustering up the energy to get a workout in—and having a bit of fun while doing it. Created by FCB Inferno, the effort was conceived in light of research conducted by Sport England that found that women are less likely than men to engage in physical activity due to fear of judgment.

The latest installment focuses on the stories of five real women who’ve used exercise to overcome stress, health issues and more. For instance, a young woman named Hannah who experiences strong menstrual cramps is shown leaving her bed and heating pad behind to take a yoga class in hopes of alleviating the pain.

At one point, the string of her tampon is visible while she changes into yoga gear, a scene that “was greeted with strong approval in early focus groups, with women delighted to see such common but unspoken issues finally being publicly addressed,” according to The Guardian.

The video also gives us a glimpse into the life of 37-year-old Kirsti Hau, a mom of three who plays netball to unwind and keep fit, as well as a woman named Glynis who recently joined a swim group for people with disabilities.

“With the new campaign we’re showing topics that are part of the everyday for women—challenges they can relate to,” Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said in a statement. “We’ve seen the powerful effect this can have in giving women more confidence with previous campaigns, and will continue to advocate for better provision and share insight with the sport and physical activity sector on how to address the gender gap.”

The ad will begin airing across TV on Jan. 17, and is being supported by out-of-home, digital and social efforts. According to FCB Inferno, a series of films will dive deeper into the individual stories of each woman featured in the spot. Throughout the course of the campaign, Sport England also plans to address other topics, including menopause and LGBTQ+ inclusion.

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