Professional hockey player Hilary Knight is basically as fierce as they come. She’s an unstoppable force on the ice and was one of the USA’s finest at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She’s a woman in sports and damn proud of it. Which is why she teamed up with Always for their newest #LikeAGirl campaign commercial.
You all have probably heard the phrase “like a girl” as an insult to tell you you’re not good enough. Well, Always is flipping the insult around! Why? Well, let’s face it. Doing things “like a girl” is pretty darn awesome!
We all throw like girls and shoot like girls and win like girls because we are girls! And there is nothing at all wrong with that. Hilary agrees, which is why she is in the newest #LikeAGirl commerical. It is called “Stronger Together” and you can check it out below. But first, read all about my chat with Hilary. Seriously, she was super amazing to talk to! This girl has some awesome advice and insight that you need to check out.
How did you end up getting involved with the #LikeAGirl campaign?
It sort of just naturally happened. Both our messages and movements kind of aligned. It was a no-brainer for me to get involved with something like this because it empowers women and girls. It changes the perception of a very small phrase. I use to be on one side thinking that “like a girl” was a bad thing. But, after watching the #LikeAGirl Super Bowl commercial, I started thinking, “Wow, this is awesome and I want to be involved with this.” Overall, it’s a really powerful message.
Can you pinpoint a time when someone said you “played like a girl”? How did it impact you?
You think of any bullying on the playground when you are younger with, “Oh, you throw like a girl!” or “I don’t want her on my team because she’s not good.” But this campaign really turned that vision around. The statistic is that 19 percent of people thought that “like a girl” was a good thing before this campaign. But now it’s 72 percent after the Super Bowl ad. It’s something that has changed so drastically in such a sort amount of time. Now, it’s like, “Yeah, I do play like a girl. Yeah, I do shoot like a girl or score like a girl.” It’s powerful, and I’m fortunate to have this opportunity to be a part of it.
What advice would you give to girls who are hearing “Like A Girl” used in a negative way?
Just be strong and be confident. Don’t waiver because what other people are saying. Don’t let them deter you from what you want to accomplish. If you can throw or you can play or you can do whatever it is you want to do, you should go out and try to do it.
How did you get involved in hockey when you were younger?
I was born in California, but then I moved to Illinois. I am from a huge ski family, so I was basically born with skis on. My mom was trying to figure out what sport we could do in Illinois because, obviously, Illinois is flatland Midwest. She met another woman who had kids and her husband was a hockey coach. So that’s how we got introduced to the sport. It was just a way for my brothers and me to meet other kids and some commonality with these people before school started. And we really didn’t look back. It has been such a memorable experience that has brought me all over the world. I mean, I went to China! I would have never expected to go to China.
If you could go back and talk to Teen Hilary and give her advice, what would you say?
It’s going to be okay! Teenage years are tough. It’s a growth period you have to go through, but you’re going to survive them and you’re going to come out a stronger person. And just don’t forget to smile and laugh along the way. That’s the biggest thing. Don’t take everything like the world’s going to end.
You obviously are around women in sports a lot, especially when you were at the Olympics. What’s that like to be around these women who are breaking down gender barriers and defying stereotypes, as you are?
It’s awesome! In Sochi, you go to the cafeteria and you are looking to your right and left and saying, “Wow, that person is famous for something. I might not even know what country she’s from or what she does, but she’s a role model and icon for women in sport.” But there’s also so many strong and powerful women who had to do the dirty work for me to even be able to play in the Olympic games and for all these other people to play. You have to have so much respect for the people before you.
Any other advice for teen girls in sports?
Just to have fun! My personal mantra is “Dare To Be” because I think “dare” is a really powerful word. I leave it kind of open-ended to insert a power word here or there depending on the occasion. But I play hockey and I continue to play hockey and I continue to train because I love it and I have a blast. The smile that you first get when you step out on the ice is something that always brings me back to the first time I stepped on the ice. It’s rare. So, I just think you need to have fun and work hard and live it up!
Check out Hilary in the newest Always #LikeAGirl commercial below!