It’s hard to imagine there will be a more inspiring, empowering video in women’s fashion this year than Misty Copeland‘s stirring rebuttal to all her naysayers as part of Under Armour‘s I Will What I Want campaign.
The one-minute video debuted three weeks ago and is a worldwide viral smash, with nearly 6 million views on YouTube alone.
It features Misty, a 31-year-old dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, reading an early rejection letter from an unnamed ballet academy, then delivering a powerful, silent rebuttal en pointe.
Misty is one of five women athletes who have signed on to promote Under Armour‘s new line of sports bras and activewear under the somewhat fearsome slogan “I will what I want” (emphasis on WILL). Here’s how the company explains it:
“It’s a reminder that you don’t need permission, advice, or affirmation when you have WILL. It’s a celebration of who you are. As an athlete. As a woman. As everything in between and beyond. …
“It’s a reminder that the best things in life aren’t given. They’re earned. And there’s one reason you are where you are today. That reason is you.”
The Misty Copeland video also provides an ironic (and unintended) glimpse into the challenges faced by female athletes in the public eye. The You Tube comments section underneath the video is littered with snarky criticisms of Misty’s body shape, weight, “ugly legs” and — most incredibly — her dance moves.
Somehow we think she just shakes it off and keeps twirling.
Here’s a look at the full roster of Under Armour‘s determined superwomen. Visit IWillWhatIWant.com to see how each of them embodies the campaign’s message and ideals.