Photo courtesy of Nike
Story by: Anna-Jo Stuart, Opinion Intern
Nike just came out with its newest inspirational ad campaign and it’s…crazy. Targeting a word that has been used to degrade women for ages, Nike has spun the degrading meaning behind the word “crazy” into something positive. The campaign touches on how when women show power and emotion, especially in sports, they are given labels that a man would not be given. The specific tagline for this campaign is that dreaming crazy is a good thing. To break down barriers, you have to be willing to do things that might seem a little crazy in the eyes of society.
Often times when a woman tries to move outside the norms in women sports, she is labeled as being crazy. This goes back to some of the earliest forms of oppression towards women. Whenever a woman tries to do something outside the social norm she was/is often labeled as hysterical or crazy. This is a way of degrading her work and discouraging others from following her.
Nike’s ad takes the word that has held many women back and turns it into something powerful. It makes “crazy” something for young female athletes to work towards, by showing all the current women in sports who have done amazing things while being told they were crazy for trying.
I think that this ad will be a huge motivator for girls in athletics because it challenges the idea that a girl is crazy for trying to push expectations. I’m really happy that ads that display strong, athletic women are becoming more prevalent. Growing up as a young female athlete I constantly felt that I had to prove my abilities to my male peers. I had to constantly show that I could measure up to, if not surpass, them because they didn’t expect as much from me as they did from their male teammates. On the other side of the spectrum, I still had to maintain a level of femininity as to not be deemed too “masculine” in sports.
I hope that campaigns like Dream Crazier help young girls realize that they have nothing to prove in sports and motivate them to push boundaries with no fear.