I stumbled upon this new advert for the woman’s brand Under Armour, and was totally blown away…. I just thought it was so fitting, seeing we celebrated Woman’s’ Day yesterday here in South Africa. The advert, called ‘I Will What I Want’, speaks to woman ‘who do not wait for permission, advice or affirmation from others in order to go after what they want’. The spot begins with a voiceover of a rejection letter: “Thank you for your application to our ballet academy. Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.”
The dancer, Misty Copeland, says that she believes every woman has had her own version of a rejection letter. ‘“Like many women, I was told that I wasn’t good enough and that I couldn’t succeed, but I willed myself to where I am now. I think that’s a message that resonates with all women. Success isn’t handed to us: we earn it.” Copeland according to her critics, does not fit the ballerina stereotype, that of being tall and super-thin. Instead, Misty is short (only 5’2″), with a large bust and very defined muscles. Misty also did not have it easy – raised by a single mom and only started dancing at the age of 13 – by many considered to old, to become a professional. Her determination has most certainly paid off – Copeland is only the third female African American soloist of the American Ballet Theater, in its 75-year history.
Success isn’t handed to us: we earn it.
And on that inspiring note, I want to celebrate the strong woman in my life. To my mom, who keeps me forever grounded and constantly reminds me of the true importance of life; my mom-in-law, who encourages me to reach for the stars, and beyond – thanks Rosie. My sister, Michelle – who manages to always create ‘home’ – wherever she finds herself in her crazy ex-pat life! And to two of my dear friends, Paula for literally doing hundreds of kilometres on a weekly basis, driving kids far and wide after ballet, gymnastics and cultural activities – you’ve got way more perseverance than me! And to Trudi, who decided to take-up ballet again at 37 – and doing her teachers’ exam this coming friday. You all inspire me, in your own unique way!
source: the time
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