It’s only crazy until you do it. That’s Nike’s message to girls and women alike in their new commercial narrated by non-other than Serena Williams.
The commercial highlights a lot of accomplishments of female athletes while working against typical gender barriers. From a woman coaching a male NBA team, to the women’s soccer league demanding equality, these logical steps were all called crazy by critics.
Gender bias is everywhere but it makes the world of sports its primary home. Women’s sports teams barely make the news and when they do, it’s for trivial matters. For being angry or ‘hysterical’. All adjectives rarely used to describe men exhibiting the same behavior.
Women are capable of the same emotions as men. Being angry, pissed off, sad, vocal about slights made against them doesn’t make women any less than. It’s time we stopped attributing emotions to gender and it goes both ways.
It’s time that female athletes receive the recognition they deserve. Day in and day out for decades they’ve proven they can compete in the most trying of sports. Since large media outlets and audiences around the country, and around the world, have not given them a seat at the table, they’re bringing their own.
Nike’s message to women is one we desperately needed. Many of us hold back to avoid these labels being bestowed upon us by a society that doesn’t understand or encourage female ambition. Each and every woman in this video is an example of what hard work can do. It shows why it’s important to go against the grain if it means achieving your dreams.
Both men and women took to social media to praise the commercial’s message.
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This incredible new commercial from #nike aired during the Oscars last night. Have you seen it? As the proud Mom to three daughters, it resonated deeply with me. Inspiring, motivating, powerful and thoughtful. It chokes me up every time I watch it. Narrated by the awesome and beautiful Serena Williams – who my 7-year-old just happens to be doing a project on right now – and featuring the powerful and incredible Simon Biles – one of my daughters is a competitive gymnast – and many other incredible girls, women and athletes – it hits home in so many ways. Watch it. Show it to your daughters. Pass it on. (Make sure to swipe right to see the second half). . . “When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational or just being crazy…But a woman running a marathon was crazy. A woman boxing was crazy. A woman dunking, crazy. Coaching an NBA team, crazy. A woman competing in a hijab; changing her sport; landing a double-cork 1080; or winning 23 grand slams, having a baby, and then coming back for more, crazy, crazy, crazy, and crazy… “So if they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do.” . . Let’s show them what crazy can do 💛 #dreamcrazier #crazy #nike #yougotthis #momofthreegirls #girlpower
In a time in which we seem to be moving backwards on important social issues, we need these Nike ads more than ever. We need brands with large platforms to spread the word to areas that may not otherwise be listening to the social unrest.
Nike is starting to fill this space and be the voice of the people. It isn’t scared to lose followers along the way either. So if you don’t like their message well, there’s the door.
To anyone, of any gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and all the other beautiful identifying attributes we take on, dream crazier. Show the world what crazy can do.
Cover image courtesy of Adweek