Caster Semenya recently posted her Nike Ad on Twitter and it's been trending for all the right reasons.
The 800m world champion runner has been under a lot of scrutiny in the past about her appearance, her gender and her biology.
This year, Sports24 reported that IAAF issued new rules and regulations that would mean that Caster would have to lower her testosterone if she were to continue racing against women. These regulations have been seen as "unjust, discriminatory and sexist" according to remarks in an article on News24.
In the ad, Caster addresses everyone that has ever questioned, criticised or commented on her and asks them a series of questions. She asks:
"Would it be easier for you if I wasn't fast?
"Would it be simpler if I stopped winning?
"Would you be more comfortable if I was less proud?
"Would you prefer if I hadn't worked so hard or just didn't run?
"Or stopped at my first steps?
"That's too bad, because I was born to do this."
A strong and powerful message that simply says that she will continue doing what she was born to do and that is to win races. Watch the ad below:
Caster joins other great female athletes such as Serena Williams who have also been scrutinised extensively by the media and various sporting authorities. But she is undoubtedly a great athlete. Some say the G.O.A.T. - the greatest of all time.
According to CBNC, on the same day Serena's Nike ad premiered, Serena returned to the tennis court wearing a "one-shoulder black Nike dress with a ballerina-style tutu skirt that she helped design, as well as a leather jacket and silver sneakers".
Another changemaker to join the Nike Just Do It campaign is pro-skater Lacey Baker. According to CBNC, Lacey is the "first openly queer woman to join the Nike SB (skateboarding) team". She joined in 2017. For Lacey skateboarding is not just a sport, "it's a place for independence and creativity to blossom."
Although Lacey is in a sport that is mostly dominated by men, she tells the New York Times that she does not let that get to her. "There’s always those [expletive] comments, the same rude, homophobic, sexist stuff. But the world that I’ve created for myself within skateboarding — it doesn’t really exist there".
While Nike is known for creating inspirational ad campaigns, there are others that deserve highlighting because they challenged the status quo. Here are a few:
1. Barbie 2015
Barbie launched a commercial that was titled, Imagine the Possibilities. The video posted on Youtube, depicts a little girl standing in front of a university class room, who then tells her older audience that she will be their professor for the day. And encourages all women to remember that they can be whoever they want to be.
2. Always 2014
Always released their #LikeAGirl ad campaign to empower young women. The ad showed the different views from girls of a range of ages as well as men have towards the tag line "like a girl". It explores these differences by showing how little girls view things such as "running like a girl" or "throwing like a girl" in the way they would do it themselves and not according to the stereotype attached to the tag line. The ad also questions why "like a girl" is an insult and explores ways we can change that.
3. Nike 2017
There's no running away from the many inspirational ad campaigns Nike has been involved in. According to Entrepreneur, this one aimed at shaking things up in how Arab countries viewed the role of women in Arab societies. The imagery will capture your heart and empower you to do what you want to do.
4. Sunsilk 2018
Sunsilk released a hair shampoo ad that tells the coming-of-age story of a Thai transgender beauty pageant queen and her journey with her hair. According to Adweek, Rock Kwanlada's story is the inspiration behind the advert. It starts with a young child growing up in a world where boys' hair always had to be short. And "follows her early battle with bullies, her reluctant double life and her struggle for acceptance". It is a heart-warming story that will make you shed a tear or two.
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