Nike ad represents and empowers Latinas

The sportswear giant released a new ad for Hispanic Heritage month, prompting Latina women to “Just Do It” together.

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Jocelyn Meza, Freelance Writer

When someone asks, “Have you seen the new Nike ad?” you might automatically think of Colin Kaepernick’s face with the words “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” However, that is not the only Nike ad sparking a conversation.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Recently, a 90-second-long Nike video has been empowering Latina women. The ad takes place during a traffic jam in Mexico City caused by construction, following multiple young women attempting to navigate idle traffic. Throughout the video, we see women overcoming different obstacles such as the lack of traffic flow,  an unconventional soccer goal net or the stop sign at the construction site run by men.

However, these women face these obstacles head-on, no matter the circumstance. In one instance, we see male construction workers demanding women get back in their cars, but Mexican boxer Mariana Juárez crosses the caution tape as if it were a boxing ring, prompting other women to follow suit. In a sense, this calls attention to women athletes being seen as either too aggressive or too mild because of their gender.

“Women athletes are very much underappreciated in our country and even our culture in general. It’s a very underappreciated sector of sports. I like how they didn’t oversexualize the women. There was a woman boxer that came out and that’s something that is seen very masculine and they did not oversexulaize it at all,” said, sophomore business major Jayleann Guadalupe.

EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH REPRESENTATION

With Nike being a popular brand, the advertisement’s choice to represent women in an empowering light should inspire Latinas, giving them hope in a society where Latinas are under-represented in the media.

“Little by little our world, generation, society, is doing a better job at recognizing women and trying to empower them,” said Marissa Vasquez, sophomore sociology major. “Nike is a big company. They get a lot of people’s attention. They are very popular so this commercial is really putting themselves out there.”

Seeing the women stop in front of a stop sign symbolizes something greater than just construction. It represents a barrier that needs to be broken within the Latina community.

“Something is preventing these women in this community from feeling like they can move forward and they know that they can’t do it alone or on their own. They almost need someone to break the barrier,” said Meleca Consultado, director of Student and Enrichment Intercultural Development.

This Nike ad shows that the media is taking its first steps in breaking down the barrier hindering Latinas from being taken seriously in areas like sports, and encourages the idea they can exceed in what they aspire.

Consultado mentioned seeing women in different capacities was a powerful experience and she does not have to be a Latina in order to recognize how Nike is utilizing women in the advertisement.

“I don’t have to be Latina,” she said. “I don’t even have to be a woman to actually acknowledge that there’s something being communicated by the women in this community and if I don’t do my job to listen then I’m also not acknowledging what is being there.”

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