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I Will What I Want

August 05, 2014 3 min read

The other day I was sent a link to Under Armour's new ad campaign. It gave me chills. For one, it included the gorgeous and incredibly talented dancer, Misty Copeland. Second, the message it sends to young girls (and boys) for that matter is very powerful. The ad begins with the voiceover of a young girl reading a rejection letter, as you see Miss Copeland balancing on pointe. The letter being read, describes all the things that were wrong about the applicant, including how she has the 'wrong body' for ballet. For the rest of the ad spot, Copeland performs, dancing exquisitely across the stage, demonstrating how she DOES have what it takes and proves everyone wrong. photo-4-2004282_0x440_zpsd91ce0b2Rejection letters such as the one being read in the ad, where like one of many that Copeland received growing up. At 5'2 inches tall, and not taking her first ballet class until she was 13 years old, she was considered by many to have the wrong body for ballet (saying that her legs were too muscular and that her feet were too big), and to be too old to start a dance career at that point. Despite all the naysayers, she persevered and proved them all wrong, and by 15 years old, already had many professional offers to dance. In 2007, she became the third African-American soloist for the American Ballet Theatre, and the first in two decades with the ABT. Her spot with Under Armour sends such a great message to our youth and a new support system for those to follow. Under the new campaign,
Under Armour is starting a new conversation with women. One that celebrates the WILL to find inner strength and to follow no one. In partnership with MapMyFitness, Under Armour has launched a digital community where you can connect with other individuals, including our Women of WILL. You will also be able to participate in the first global fitness platform where women all over the world can support and spotlight each other for living their lives on their own terms.
With many other social media outlets out there objectifying young women and/or making them feel like they have to fit the perfect 'mold' or body type to be accepted, it was so refreshing to see UA highlighting how this young woman stuck to her guns, pursued her dreams and proved that she had the drive and will to go after and achieve what she wanted in life and to succeed doing so. Your will is your own and you can achieve what your mind believes. This is such a strong lesson for young girls to learn and to understand. Knowing that they can, is half the battle. I have three young children under 5 years old. My oldest at 5, has the strongest will and drive. She watched the Under Armour ad (below) with me with stars in her eyes. She wanted to watch it over and over again. I chatted with her about Misty's story overcoming adversity and her determination to achieve her dreams. No, she may not completely understand what that means yet, but the overall message is clear. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.  You have to work hard for what you want in life and know that it won't come easy all the time. People are going to try and bring you down and criticize you in life.  Believing in yourself and knowing you can do it are the first steps in achieving your dreams. As a parent, I want my children to know that I too believe in them and know they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. The only one standing in the way of your goals and aspirations, is yourself. http://youtu.be/ZY0cdXr_1MA Credits: Underarmour.com Photos (Misty Copeland leg shot) via Gregg Delamn/VOGUE Italia

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