H&M on How to Be a Lady

By Ryann Casey

H&M’s fall collection kicked off with a powerfully encouraging commercial. Juxtaposing the visual splicing of unique women against the sexist 1971 Tom Jones song “She’s a Lady,”  is a call for unity among women that proves our differences don’t divide us. This video shows multiple women, how they live, and aren’t defined by anybody else’s standards of what it means to be a “lady.” Every woman is a lady.


This campaign is inspired by the strong, independent and free willed nature of the modern woman. It celebrates individuality by interviewing the women featured in the campaign to find what being “ladylike” means to them. From Lion Babe, who sings the ads newly interpreted version of “She’s a Lady,” to mature model Lauren Hutton, and social justice warrior Adwoa Aboah, the definition of what it means to be a lady widens.

Dedicated to reclaiming the word “ladylike”, this ad redefines the meaning by glorifying the everyday diverse lives of women, and showing them doing things typically described as unladylike. Use the hashtag #ladylike to tell the world what being a lady means to you.

Here’s what it means to H&M.

She’s a lady.

She eats with her hands and talks with her mouth full.

She’s got food in her teeth.


She has a shaved head soft with fuzz. She has playful curls that bounce when she laughs. She has long wavy hair that flows with every sway of her hips in the privacy of her bathroom, and every hard stomp she takes in control of the boardroom.


She’s comfortable with her body, looking lovingly in her own eyes at the mirrored reflection that stares back at her. Society will say shes cocky and conceited but that’s because they don’t want her to love herself. They make money off her insecurities so they fuel and feed them. But she loves herself.


She’s a woman on a mission. She’s delicate with passion but strong with the courage to come to terms with what she wants, and allows herself to follow those dreams.


She’s muscular. She’s slim.

She’s shy. She’s the life of the party.

She giggles the softest whisper but erupts the hardest cackle.

She sits slumped with her legs spread to take up the space she deserves and be truly comfortable.


She values herself too much to entertain small talk and meaningless conversation. She doesn’t conceal her boredom, but rolls her eyes and has her say. She’s a mature woman, wise with age.


She bathes in moonlight and sparkles in sunshine.

She sings and dances. She’s goofy and serious.

Her stare is stark enough to burn a hole through your eyes but her smile’s so bright you’d gladly go blind. She eats fast food, and balances her french fries with broccoli.


She loves her sisters.

She embraces their differences knowing their beliefs and success don’t dampen or subtract from her own. She appreciates the beauty of others knowing it enhances her own. She reaches her arm out and grasps what her eyes see knowing it won’t be handed to her.


She’s not one thing, she’s everything.

She’s exactly whatever she wants to be.

She’s a lady.

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