It is universally acknowledged that in the world of sports, Serena Williams is the greatest of all time. After successfully running a campaign with American footballer Colin Kaepernick — that opened up the conversation about police brutality in the US — it is no surprise Nike went with Williams next. They do like to drop the mic from time to time, and who better to do that than the woman who won 23 Grand Slams?
The new advertisement, ‘Dream Crazier’, was dropped during the 91st Academy Award function and Twitter’s been crazy over it. With Serena’s voiceover playing over footage of American sportswomen. With the ad comes the tag line: “if they think your dreams are crazy then show what crazy dreams can do”.
For those who missed the memo, for years women have been shamed for showing emotion (especially Serena), for expressing anger, for having a body type that does not cater to society’s ideas of what ideal should look like.
The 90-sec video advertisement features many of these athletes who have taken on patriarchal stereotypes which tried to demean, tagged them ‘crazy’, and owned the word completely.
“If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. 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” narrates Serena in the ad.
Williams was severely criticised for her argument with umpire Carlos Ramos during the last year’s US Open, where she called the Portuguese umpire a ‘thief’. She was charged with code violations during the final match with Naomi Osaka.
At the press conference that followed, William accused Carlos of being sexist, declaring that male players are let off for behaviour far more grave. “I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal,” she had said at that time.
Social media has hailed the ad as inspirational.
Wow……goosebumps. I love this!!!
— Nicole Scott (@nikko812) February 24, 2019
The Nike ad deserves some kind of Oscar, too #justsayin
— Elise Jordan (@Elise_Jordan) February 25, 2019
— Eric Holler (@holler_eric) February 25, 2019
The video features the first woman to run Boston Marathon — Katherine Switzer, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympian Simone Biles among others. In less than 12 hours, the video has garnered over 5 million views.
Own the word ‘crazy’, as Serena says. Dream crazy, y’all!