February 25, 2009

In Praise of Nike (from a New Balance girl)

In the early '90's, back when I used to hang poems and pictures and magazine clippings on my bedroom door, two of my very favorite items were Nike ads. I know what you're thinking. And even back then, I remember being disappointed that two of the quotes that I looked at every day and memorized over time because they spoke to me so strongly, came from something as lame as a Nike ad.

A women is often measured by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn't curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don't ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a women is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control; by who she is and who she is trying to become. Because as every women knows, measurements are only statistics & statistics lie.

I've always wondered who wrote these ads. Did they really believe the things that they said? And did they ever go on to do something more important than shilling for Nike? But if not, for their sake, I hope they sold a ton of shoes.

All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.

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