Lilian Min
July 13, 2015 1:25 pm

While there are plenty of badasses on HBO’s Game of Thrones, one fan favorite sticks out from the sword-wielding pack: Arya Stark, played brilliantly by actress Maisie Williams. We’ve literally watched Williams grow up as Stark, and like the character she plays, she’s outspoken and fearless, particularly in her defense of girls and women.

So, it totally makes sense that feminine hygiene company Always would think of Williams to lead their #LikeAGirl campaign. Aimed at challenging stereotypes about what it means to do things “like a girl,” the campaign asks girls what, even at their young ages, they’ve already internalized about what they can and can’t do, and then encourages them to break out of those oftentimes silencing or limiting expectations. The video that launched the campaign went viral last year, but its message is still going strong. (The latest installment is here.)

Williams spoke at Always’ #LikeAGirl Confidence Summit last week and introduced a startling statistic: 72% of girls grow up feeling like there are certain things that they just can’t do. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Williams proudly asserts that she fights like a girl: “I fight like a girl. I fight left-handed like a girl. I fight skilled, as well—like with swords—like a girl.”

She also details the sorts of things she’s been told not to do or been told she is:

Williams credits much of her self-confidence to her time working on Game of Thrones, and is using her high profile from the show to push the #LikeAGirl message around the world.

Williams admits that her brand of badass, feminist thinking was something she grew into and learned about, sharing, “People are always like, ‘Don’t change, be yourself.’ But there was a point in my life when I was like, ‘What person do I want to be?’ You’re malleable—you look at what other people wear, you think about what things interest you. What I started to realize is that there’s not a pigeonhole that I fit into.” We’re so glad she’s taking it upon herself to help debunk stereotypes and stand up for girls everywhere. Or as Williams herself puts it:

Related reading:

Harry Potter and Arya Stark just made our fandom dreams come true

Maisie Williams is dropping truth about the way adults underestimate teens

Understanding what Maisie Williams calls ‘first-world feminism’

(Images via herehere, and here.)

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