This Girl Can: the new advert celebrating women keeping active during lockdown

Posted by for Wellbeing

Whether you ran, walked, or strength trained your way through lockdown, the new This Girl Can advert is here to celebrate and empower you. 

I think we can all agree that lockdown was not easy. Everyday life was suddenly completely changed, confined almost exclusively to the home and any outdoor space you had access to nearby. This meant that it was no longer possible to do so many of the things that previously filled our days and kept a spring in our steps. 

The closing of gyms was a particularly difficult one to reckon with, and fitness fans across the country found that their routines had to come to an abrupt end. But necessity breeds innovation and creativity. With no clear end to the lockdown restrictions in sight, many people took the initiative to keep themselves up and active, despite the lack of equipment and exercise options they were suddenly faced with.

This incredible uptick in people running, joining online exercise classes and doing at-home strength training workouts is rightly celebrated in the latest advert from This Girl Can. Inspiring, real, and full of admiration for the women who made the best of a bad situation, the latest campaign is a love letter to everyone who found a way to keep going in spite of the circumstances. 

Like the advert’s predecessor, which came out in January, it is set to the rousing sounds of Little Simz’s Offence, and features women of varying ages, ethnicities and abilities hitting the exercise hard. The previous advert was celebrated for its portrayal of what it’s like to exercise as a woman, with details like muscles and cellulite, sweat, struggle, and even a tampon string featuring unapologetically in the one-minute montage. We unpicked just how brilliant this advert, called Me Again, really is earlier this year, and it is definitely worth revisiting

The new ad is more relevant than ever, focusing as it does on the lives of women during the pandemic. In it, you see women working out in living rooms, outdoors, and in recently reopened gyms, with the advert’s powerful message helping to smash through the barriers that many women face to keeping fit. 

One of the amazing women featured is Aneesa, who lost her salary as a photographer during lockdown. To keep herself both physically and mentally strong during this tough time, she started doing free HIIT and dance classes over Zoom and on YouTube. Elsewhere in the ad, we see Caitlin playing with her two children. In order to cope with her feelings of isolation during lockdown, Caitlin started up Blaze Trails, a community of walking parents and children. The advert, in putting a spotlight on women like these two, highlights just how important exercise can be for our mental health, especially when life’s unexpected obstacles hit you hard.

This Girl Can also paid homage to many people’s lockdown exercise of choice, with the advert opening on a runner, smiling as she stops for a breather before going on to cover plenty of ground as the clip goes on. With over 850,000 people having downloaded the NHS’s Couch to 5K app during lockdown, running really did experience an almighty boom. The advert celebrates this boom and the people partaking in it, and in a way that empowers people to keep on going. 

Throughout the one minute-long video, we see yoga mats being set out in living rooms, bedrooms being reorganised into workout spaces, and outdoor areas of all types becoming the country’s alternative to the gym. We see women who are at the peak of their workouts and women who are spent at the end of a session. We see mothers breastfeeding before exercising, hand sanitiser being used after a run, and the debilitating effects of period cramps. And, above all, we see women of all types trying their hardest, in spite of the adverse circumstances.

This Girl Can has once again shown that exercise really is for everyone, and that it doesn’t have to be perfect, pretty, or even come all that naturally to you. Their campaign is relatable and real, and doesn’t shy away from the things that may be deemed taboo. For that, it is unbelievably refreshing and incredibly empowering. 

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Image credit: Getty

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