Teen Quarterback Karlie Harman Shows Super Bowl What It Means to Play 'Like a Girl'

Karlie Harman super bowl
Like most other 15-year-old girls, Karlie Harman has grown up hearing the message that to kick, throw, or play "like a girl" is to do it in a weak, subpar way. "When I was younger, my brothers would always say I do stuff 'like a girl,'" she tells us. "But I didn't really take it to heart, because I was trying to show them up in the sports and activities we did together. So it was kind of a compliment to me actually!"

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It's that attitude and by following her heart, without fail, that Karlie has managed to turn that antiquated, sexist stereotype on its head. Not only is she the only girl on her all-boys tackle football team in Northern Virginia, but more recently, Karlie was named an ambassador for Always' "Like a Girl" campaign and will bring that message to Super Bowl XLIX.

Always learned about Karlie through the NFL's "Together We Make Football” campaign. "I was a finalist, but I didn't actually end up winning," Karlie explains. "But Always really liked that I had a lot of confidence at this age. A lot of high school-aged girls don't have as much confidence, [but] they saw it in me. [So they] wanted to partner up with me for the #LikeaGirl campaign, and they gave my mom a call!"

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The unwavering support Karlie has gotten from her family and friends is a huge reason she's been able to build that confidence, which also serves as pretty tough armor against any negativity.

"I haven't gotten too much pushback, but I don't really pay attention," Karlie says. "You can't focus on it, you gotta focus on the positive things. And that's another thing I do -- I'm positive like a girl."

This Sunday, Karlie's psyched to bring her positivity A-game to Phoenix to get the word out about #LikeaGirl, she tells us. The message she aims to share: "'Play like a girl' means do it with your heart and as much power as you possibly have. It means really just give it your all, 110 percent."

And for girls who want to follow in her footsteps and try out for football or rise to the top in any other typically male-dominated world, Karlie advises, "If you have your heart [in it], you can do whatever you put your mind to. Just work hard, because no one can take hard work away from you."

Right on, Karlie! We can't wait to see how all of her hard work continues to pay off!

What inspires you the most about Karlie's story? What do you think we can all be doing to change the definition of "like a girl"?

 

Image via Karlie Harman/Twitter

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