Nike's Latest Ad Will Make You Want to Unapologetically Dream Big
All photos: Nike
From Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's performance to Selma Blair's emotional red carpet moment, the 2019 Oscars were full of heartwarming surprises. But perhaps one of the most powerful moments came not from the actual telecast but in the form of a Nike commercial, featuring Serena Williams as narrator and several other inspirational female athletes, such as gymnast Simone Biles and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Dubbed "Dream Crazier," the ad is an undeniable take on the negative adjectives so often used to describe female athletes-particularly the word "crazy."
"If we show emotion, we're called dramatic," Williams says in a voiceover. "If we want to play against men, we're nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, we're delusional. 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."
What's really crazy though, is all the incredible things female athletes have accomplished, Williams continues-whether that's running a marathon, boxing, dunking, competing in a hijab or, "winning 23 grand slams, having a baby, and then coming back for more." (Related: Serena Williams' Maternity Leave Is Making a Major Change In Women's Tennis Tournaments)
"So if they want to call you crazy, fine," she continues. "Show them what crazy can do."
It's no secret that Williams has been subjected to gender-based criticism throughout her career. Case in point: When she got into serious trouble for losing it with an umpire during a match. Her outburst cost her $17,000 in fines when male tennis players often get away scot-free with similar behavior. Before that, the president of the French Tennis Federation banned catsuits from the court after Williams wore one during a match. He said that her Wakanda-inspired-outfit went too far and that she disrespected "the game and the place." In other words, Nike couldn't have picked a better narrator and leader for this message. (P.S. This isn't the first time Williams has been in an ad for female empowerment. She recently urged women to harness their power to make sh*t happen in a Super Bowl ad in partnership with Bumble.)
Since airing last night, Nike's ad already has more than 4 million views on YouTube and is the perfect reminder of what dreaming crazy big can lead to. Watch the entire powerful video below, and just try not to be lit with determination: