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This Girl Can returns with new ‘taboo-breaking’ campaign

This Girl Can returns with new ‘taboo-breaking’ campaign

Categories: Active Sussex News Health & Wellbeing This Girl Can

This Girl Can is back with a brand-new TV advert to inspire more women and girls to take part in sport and physical activity.

The advert, which launched nationally earlier this month, shows the raw, unfiltered reality of women exercising in whatever way that works for them.

Lisa O’Keefe, the This Girl Can director of insight, hopes the advert will convince women they don’t need to be in shape or super confident in their bodies to take part.

“This Girl Can is about helping women feel confident, so they can overcome the fears about being judged that our research showed was stopping many from getting active,” she said.

“Since we launched five years ago, we're seeing more relatable images in advertising and social media, but there's a long way to go until women's lives are being shown in a realistic way.

“We've designed the new adverts to show things we're still not seeing - women using exercise to manage period symptoms or juggling motherhood - all while celebrating women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds.”


Launched in 2015, This Girl Can has been working to address the significant gender gap found in sports and exercise, to build women’s confidence around being active, and help them meet the Chief Medical Officers’ guidance.

Since it was launched, the campaign has already inspired more than 3.5 million women to act but there’s still a lot to do, with 40% of women aged 16 and over not active enough to get the full health benefits of sport and physical activity, compared to 35% of men.

The campaign was based on the insight that 75% of women say they want to do more sporting activities or exercise, but one of the unifying barriers found to be holding them back is a fear of judgement.

The new advert has been created on the back of new research by us that reveals 63% of women who see slim, toned bodies on social media sites say this has a negative impact on them.

Nearly a quarter (24%) who follow fitness influencers, say they make them feel bad about themselves, while less than a fifth (18%) of these women find fitness influencers relatable.

The campaign is calling for influencers, media and brands to feature more realistic and diverse imagery of women to promote sport and physical activity.

Tally Rye, personal trainer and author of ‘Train Happy’, believes being a fitness influencer comes with responsibility not to alienate women.

“As a fitness community we have a huge opportunity to create content that makes women feel good about themselves.

“I try to ensure that I show a real reflection of the sweaty reality of being active on my Instagram feed. 

“I’m a firm believer that every little counts and the importance of enjoying it without worrying what you look like.” 

This Girl Can Community Fund

This Girl Can are also launching a new This Girl Can fund – supported by Sure – to help local communities to fund projects that encourage women to get active.

Backed by funding from the National Lottery, local organisations and community groups can bid for grants from between £300 to up to £10,000.

This Girl Can are looking to support a wide range of ideas – and they may be able to support a few exceptional projects with funding above this level.

 You’re best placed to tell This Girl Can what’s needed in your community. So, you are invited to share your ideas of how to get more local women more active.

For more information, please click here. 

How to get involved in Sussex 

  • Become a This Girl Can Supporter here
  • Join the social media conversation using #ThisGirlCan and #FitGotReal hashtags
  • Promote your group, class, project or story with Active Sussex
  • Apply for the This Girl Can Community Fund here 
  • Access Secondary School resources here

For more information about how you can get involved  please contact Active Sussex's Disability and Inclusion lead, Gemma Finlay-Gray, E: gfinlay-gray@activesussex.org / T: 01273 644 154 / 07760 164001

For help and advice about applying for the This Girl Can Community Fund please contact Active Sussex's Strategic Relationship Manager, Ross Joannides, E: rjoannides@activesussex.org / T: 01273 644 154 / 07760 164001.