Should – Ride Like a Girl

A must-see for teenage girls. Looks at the challenges young girls face and what group cycling brings to them. A film by Jenny Graham, Lee Craigie & Katrina Brown. Funded by Transport Scotland and in association with Cycling UK.

For those of you who are Gaelically challenged, here is a rough transcript.

Society has this image of what girls should do, how they should act.

For the girls, well it’s like, what you look like

We have an ideal of femininity don’t we? We feel quite uncomfortable to sit outside of that — I want to fit in, there’s that need for acceptance.

How’d you feel when you are wearing make up?

Feel like a girl

Feel like a girl? And how’d you feel when you’re not wearing makeup?

Like a child

Like a child? Ah

People are pushed into boxes and they’re pushed into spaces where they aren’t themselves. But it’s just easier not to be yourself, cos you will be made fun of. You get bullied for not quite doing the norm. The pressures of social media and what are girls meant to do isn’t getting muddy and sweaty and dirty and having that fierceness to really push boundaries.

Not many girls do this kind of stuff.

I think the girls that do it, it’s just there is this mindset you kinda have to get into and you kinda have to get past. The basic stereotype that has been fed into women that women are weak that they can’t be strong and they can’t show that they’re strong.

To have an event like this it’s just so important that to show people that you actually can.

The most beautiful thing is that if you’re confident in yourself.

Being muscular can be so beautiful. The media doesn’t really express that range of beautiful.

I really (difficult to understand) the bike, I like dressing up and stuff as well but I really like all the mud, all the filth, and everything as well. So you can have a mix of that, you don’t need to be like all one thing.

When you’re biking is like you feel a lot more healthy. What I found is not what you look like it’s how you feel.

Whether your male or female it’s nice to have a whole spectrum of ways of being.

The sport is man dominated. The other day so I was watching, like you just think wow they’re so fast, you think they’re gonna be all scary and like no way and stuff like up hills but when you actually got to meet them and you find friends in it like it is really nice and they’re like they’re really supportive.

You’ve got to push through like the barriers of male and female.

The atmosphere really did something to me last year. That is what really pushed me to the bike packing trip. That bike packing trip really affected a lot in my life not just being able to feel like I could cycle it was be able to feel strong like I could do what I really wanted to do. Skills I didn’t know I had.

Learning more about myself made me learn about who I need to be surrounding myself with.

We all bonded really well and that was so nice because like I’m still friends with them now.

The sense of anxiety I used to have it’s just, it’s just gone.

I’m under no pressure with those girls, they expect nothing except me to just be me.

Did you play much sports?

No

In primary school?

No

Did you enjoy PE?

No

Having that initial courage and bravery to just do what you want to do.

Girls together have so much fun. (laughing)

Normally you would let the boys do it before, then you would do it, but I think when there’s lots of capable girls doing it, you just feel that rush of energy and adrenaline that you can do it.

I just love it. I just couldn’t imagine not being with it and I’ve ever get for few years where I’m like after study times I don’t have any time to do sport I can just tell my mood it’s just so different I think it just it changes everything

When I hear girl saying right I need to go home and really get my snapchat score up I’m like no, no you don’t.

It’s not easy going against what you’re supposed to do. But when you can feel strong enough to do something just go for it.

How must they feel when they go home — to be away on an overnight expedition and go home back to whatever challenges they’ve got — stuff going on at home or getting bullied at school — whatever it is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, that’s what they’ve done. They’re gonna feel great about that because taking risks makes you a stronger person.

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