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NEWS & IDEAS

Misty Copeland's Under Armour Ad Will Make You Feel Like Flying

Misty Copeland's Under Armour Ad Will Make You Feel Like Flying

She stands, calves flexed, poised on toe shoes. A voiceover reads a rejection letter listing her physical faults. It ends, pointedly: “You have the wrong body for ballet.” Professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland never received a rejection that explicit, but she’s heard every one of those criticisms at one time or another. “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. 

In the debut spot for Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, Copeland moves from a dance studio to leap across a lit stage. It’s her second home: in real life, Copeland is a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, the third African-American female soloist in the 74-year history of the company. “She pushes the boundaries on the status quo of the word ‘athlete,’” Leanne Fremar, executive creative director of the women’s division at Under Armour, told The New York Times. Copeland is the first non-traditional athlete with whom Under Armour has signed a contract. The partnership is part of the sports brand’s “new conversation with women. One that celebrates the WILL to find inner strength and to follow no one.” 

This first ad certainly achieves a celebration of strength, especially as Copeland looks up with a slight smile at the end, eyes fiery. We’re honored to call Misty a MAKER.