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VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings

VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings
March 2, 2020

VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign launched yesterday with a focus on empowering women to believe in themselves and feel comfortable getting active.

The launch of the new campaign coincides with new research from VicHealth that found most Victorian women are turned off exercise by images of taut and toned #FITSPO influencers.

The research found around two-thirds of women are not motivated to get active after seeing “fitspiration” or #FITSPO photos on social media. What’s worse, these images make a third of women feel bad or inadequate about their own bodies and fitness.

Conversely the research found over three-quarters of women are motivated to get moving after seeing images and videos of everyday women with a wide range of body shapes getting active.

The new This Girl Can – Victoria campaign features everyday women of all different ages, cultures, body-shapes and abiltiies getting active.

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos launched the new campaign and television advertisement which aims to show that getting active is for all women – not just those with a six-pack and the latest activewear.

Minister Mikakos advised “This Girl Can – Victoria is all about empowering women to believe in themselves and feel comfortable getting active, whether it’s going for a walk with their dog, doing yoga in their trackies at home, dancing with their friends or kicking goals on the sports field.

“I encourage Victorian women to give physical activity a go and show that in Victoria this girl definitely can!”

The new campaign is the follow up to the first highly successful This Girl Can – Victoria ad which launched in 2018 and has so far inspired over 400,000 women to get active.

Featuring everyday women from right across Victoria, such as body-positive personal trainer Natasha Korbut and amputee swimmer Karen Veldhuizen, the new ad encourages women to focus on how getting active makes them feel rather than what they look like.

VicHealth Head of This Girl Can Melanie Fineberg said the campaign aims to smash the stereotype that active women have to look a certain way noting “we’re bombarded with imagery of women with so-called “perfect” bodies working out without even breaking a sweat, which sends a message that there’s something wrong with us if we don’t look like that.

“Our research shows women want advertising that shows women of all shapes and sizes getting active in a realistic way – sweat, red faces, jiggles and all.

“The women featured in our campaign are everyday women with real stories and realistic bodies. We hope other women will relate to their struggles and triumphs and think if she can, I can too.”

Fineberg added that too often, marketing and social media tell women to think about being active as a way to lose weight or improve how they look but highlighted that “our new research clearly shows that for many women what keeps them coming back to physical activity is the feeling they get rather than the number on the scales.

“The women in our ad celebrate how getting active makes them feel – whether it’s the fun of playing in a team, the calm of yoga or the joy of diving in the water.

“This Girl Can – Victoria isn’t about weightloss. It’s about moving our bodies because it feels good and because we can.”

The Girl Can – Victoria is a lot more than a multimedia campaign. It’s a statewide movement of women, supporting each other to become more active.

In order to provide women with more inclusive opportunities to get active, This Girl Can Week will be held across Victoria from 23rd to 29th March 2020.

For more information on participation and for Sports clubs, councils, gyms or community groups interested in hosting a This Girl Can Week activity and registering as a campaign supporter go to

Key statistics:

-A new VicHealth survey of over 1000 Victorian women found:

  • Around two-thirds of women (66%) aren’t motivated by #FITSPO images of women on Instagram.
  • Over three-quarters of women find seeing women of all different body shapes getting active motivating.
  • A third of women feel bad or inadequate about their own bodies and fitness when they see #FITSPO images on Instagram.
  • Younger women aged 18-34 were more likely to compare themselves to women on Instagram and women wearing the latest active wear in fitness advertising than older women.
  • Over half of women said seeing women with a range of body shapes makes them feel ok or good about their own bodies and fitness.
  • Young women aged 18-34 were more likely to feel bad about themselves after seeing #FITSPO images than older women.
  • Almost 80% of women want to see more women with a range of body shapes included in physical activity advertising.

-Since 2018, more than 400,000 Victorian women were more active after seeing the campaign

-Almost 90% of women who have seen the ad believe it helps women be more confident

-52% of Victorian women worry about being judged when exercising

-41% of Victorian women are embarrassed or intimidated when exercising in public

Images and videos courtesy of VicHealth

Related Articles

26th February 2020 - VicHealth considers new industry code on unhealthy food advertising to be ineffective

21st January 2020 - VicHealth calls for higher standards on fast food marketing to teenagers and children

19th November 2019 - VicHealth offers new funding to sports clubs

16th August 2019 - VicHealth set to launch a new This Girl Can campaign

19th July 2019 - VicHealth to offer new fun and inclusive sport programs

8th July 2019 - New Chief Executive appointed at VicHealth

1st July 2019 - VicHealth grants provide opportunities for increased community sport participation

9th April 2019 - VicHealth research reveals widespread promotion of alcoholic drinks on social media

18th March 2019 - VicHealth report says women are ‘shamed’ into quitting fitness activities

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