This Girl Can: New advert marks women’s exercise campaign’s five-year anniversary

Sport England says 3.5 million women have become involved in sport or physical activity as a result of the campaign, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
Newly published research from the governing body shows 63% of women feel the body images they see on social media have a negative effect of them.
It also found that 40% of women over the age of 16 are still not active enough to get the full benefits of sport and physical activity.
In the new advert, one woman is shown using yoga to ease heavy menstrual cramps, while a mother and daughter use exercise to combat their symptoms of menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome.
“Everybody feels bad some days,” said Agbeze. “Everybody suffers from pain. It’s making sure people know that it’s normal.
“It’s just letting men and everyone else in society know women do go through these things and they need support to get out and do stuff.
“I think it’s just the reality of life, which has been shied away from for so long.”
Nearly a quarter of the women surveyed said the fitness influencers they followed made them feel bad about themselves. “I think as a female, society judges you on how you look,” Agbeze added.
“Serena Williams was the number one tennis player but had fewer endorsements than Maria Sharapova, and that was based on how Serena looked. “It’s a reality of life, and we need to change that narrative.”
What has the reaction been?
Sian Caulfield: “I’m on an equalities course this week. A man yesterday told the room that women ‘are unable to lift more than 15kg’. He was deadly serious. In response, I showed him a video of me push and pressing 45kg, followed by a video of me deadlifting 110kg.”
Claire Parnell: “Being active for me is about improving my mental health as much as my physical fitness. Breaking the taboos around women and sport. Periods. Sweat. The juggle.”
Sara Danby: “Such a great representation of diverse, real women juggling life and exercise. Feel empowered after my swim this morning.”

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