The new ad by Under Armour is turning heads in the sports world. Under Armour is famous for representing top notch athletes around the world similar to companies such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Puma. Some of Under Armour’s top athlete endorsements are Bryce Harper, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, Lindsey Vonn, and Jose Reyes. This list is similar to the top sports apparel brands around the world without ever mentioning ballet. Misty Copeland has defied the odds of what it takes to be a ballerina.
The Under Armour ad begins with a voice over representing Misty as a 13 year old girl reading a rejection letter for ballet. The letter ends with the line “you have the wrong body for ballet.” Misty never received this exact letter, but she was surrounded with criticism throughout her life. “I was told I had the wrong body type, to lose weight, that I had to lengthen because I was too muscular and that my bust was too big,” she said.
No matter if you truly believe ballet is a sport or not the ad shows us something much deeper. Misty points out that “we all look different…and I think that’s something that is important with kind of the growth of where ballet is going.” She never had ballet on the radar as a career. She didn’t even start ballet till the age of thirteen. By the age of sixteen she was offered her first contract, but she would finish high school first and be offered another contract with ABT’s Corps De Ballet the following year. She became the third African American Soloist and she was the first in two decades at the school of American Ballet Theatre. Ballet has long been labeled as a non sport, but Misty thinks differently.
Society is very judgmental and constantly pushing back at individual dreams. Misty went against popular belief and made her dreams become a reality. She is an inspiration to everyone who gets pushed back by naysayers. Under Armour channeled these emotions and expressed the taxing lifestyle of a ballet performer in its new ad. Misty is a perfect representative for ballet on and off the dance floor. She takes ballet to the next level. Do you see ballet in a different light now?
By Mike Minnock