You might remember that earlier this year, around the time of the Olympics, Always ran a highly successful campaign called #LikeAGirl which highlighted the issues around confidence and sports for girls. Always did some research and found that by the end of puberty, half of girls surveyed (51 percent) will have quit sports. Despite the known benefits of playing sports, girls reported that they didn’t feel like they belonged in sports. If that didn’t make you gasp, a further 67 percent of girls felt that society does not encourage them to play sports.
However, there’s another factor related to girl’s lack of confidence when playing sports, that nobody is really talking about – the same girls surveyed said that they didn’t have the confidence to continue playing sport because they didn’t have the proper sports bras. I’ll be frank, I shudder at the cost of a sports bra – a piece of material I absolutely despise but believe me, I’ve had a reality check! Because the bras are so expensive, girls simply don’t wear them and either don’t want to play sport because of this, or play but are incredibly uncomfortable and self-conscious.Gil
Always challenged me to go just a day without a bra, to see how it impacts my day and more so, my confidence. At first, I thought, “No Bra, No Problem!” But my attitude very quickly changed when I was out in public or worse – at gym! I am not a fit person; I can’t do jumping jacks without thinking I am dying and without a coach there to push me, I hate working out. But I do it and I take it for granted, just as I take the tight fitted sports bra, that I wear each day to gym, for granted. You see, I have bigger boobs. I didn’t always have them but now that I do, they aren’t going anywhere, especially not while I gym. Gymming without a sports bra made me exceptionally self-conscious. Casual movements that I do every day, suddenly felt like I was exposing my bits, and let’s not even talk about avoiding a blue eye when I did attempt jumping jacks. My gym session are usually about me and focusing on the instructions of my coach, I never look at the ladies around me but this time, I felt like they were all staring at me, silently judging me for being dumb enough for coming to gym without a bra, sort of like the girl who goes to yoga in jeans.
Okay, so gym was a little harsher than I expected but surely it can’t be that bad while out and about? Nope, it is. Not having that silent bit of support, holding your boobs from getting in the way or weighing you down, means that absolutely everything requires a little more effort than I’d usually put in. Going out to my local store, where I frequent my PJ pants, felt like I was walking the catwalk in the buff. Everything felt zoned in on my boobs and although my bra comes off just as soon as my front door opens, being out without a bra stole away any confidence.
Always’ mission is to stop the drop in confidence that girls experience during puberty and will only consider this movement to be successful if they make people aware of the shockingly high number of girls who are quitting sports every day. To show their support, Always will be sponsoring the donation of sports bras to underprivileged girls through its partnership with GOP (Girls Only Project)*. It’s time that we start rallying society to encourage girls and show them that they do belong in sports and should keep playing #LikeAGirl – because sports help build girls’ confidence, especially at the critical stage of puberty.
Always have kindly sponsored 5 hampers for YOU! All you need to do is be part of the conversation by tweeting me (@bymegankelly) and let me know how going braless has affected your confidence and why you think it’s important to encourage girls to keep playing #LikeAGirl.
Winners will be randomly selected and announced on social media. Please leave your name (and email address) in the comments below so that I can contact you to arrange delivery of your prize.