'When I Was Growing Up, Girls Just Didn't Run in Public'

Nike is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX with an ad called "Voices." Using the hashtag #maketherules, female athletes — Olympic boxer Marlen Esparza, women's basketball legend Lisa Leslie, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, and Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the world's first gold medal for women's marathon at the 1984 Olympics — unflinchingly look into the camera and reveal the obstacles they've faced. Samuelson says, "When I was growing up, girls just didn't run in public," and you realize how far we've come. But then Esparza says, "I'm a girl… that doesn't mean I have to wear a skirt," and you realize how much work we still have to do.


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So I'm torn about this in much the same way I was torn about the Dove Real Beauty campaign. On one hand, YES. This is a such a great message to celebrate, and Title IX has gotten so much crap that it's always good to show how far it has taken us. I love the images of older women and young girls embracing their athleticism.

On the other hand, I can't get behind the company sponsoring this. If Nike were really concerned about the self confidence and accomplishments of girls and women, they would pay their female factory workers in the developing world more money and maybe even give them time and opportunity to go to school.

So what do we do about this? Do we still embrace this ad because it sends a positive message regardless of who is behind it, or do we use it as an opportunity to call out Nike's hypocrisy?