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Jennifer Stahl on Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
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It's getting harder and harder these days to turn on the tv, flip open a magazine or even browse the internet without bumping into Misty Copeland. And I love it. The American Ballet Theatre soloist has become ballet's unofficial ambassador everywhere from "So You Think You Can Dance" to Dr. Pepper commercials and Blackberry ads to features in Vogue and fashion sites like Net-a-Porter.
My favorite, though, might be her work with Under Armour. As the sportswear company's first "non-athlete" to sign an endorsement deal—as Under Armour likes to put it—Copeland is not only abolishing the status quo of who is considered an athlete, but she's doing it in the most ravishing way.
Exhibit A: This new ad, just released this week. In nothing more than an Under Armour tank top and underwear, Copeland slowly rises onto pointe, her muscles bulging as she bourrées—while we hear a voiceover reading a letter of rejection listing the reasons why she's not qualified to become a ballet dancer: "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.” Then, in choreography by Marcelo Gomes, Copeland breaks loose on a stage, soaring, spinning and showing off that ferocious effervescence that makes us love her so much.
The commercial launches an Under Armour campaign called "I Will What I Want." Because nobody is going to tell Misty Copeland what she can't do. We say, Rock on, Misty.