Nike is being praised for its new advertisement that breaks the stereotype that pregnant people are fragile. The athletic-wear company’s new maternity ad features pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding athletes as they go about their workouts, sometimes grueling, and it’s a powerful reminder of how tough pregnant people really are.
The advertisement dropped on March 14 in honor of Mother’s Day in the UK. It challenges the idea of what it means to be pregnant or postpartum and how that jives with athleticism. “Can you be an athlete? You, pregnant? You, a mother? That depends,” the ad, titled “Toughest Athletes,” begins.
“What is an athlete? Someone who moves? Sounds like you,” the narration continues. “Someone who gets it done, no matter what? You do that. Someone who listens to her body. Also, you. Someone who defies gravity. You. Someone who deals with the pain hits her limit and pushes past it. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Someone who earns every single win. You, you, you. So, can you be an athlete? If you aren’t, no one is.”
The advertisement, which is being packaged as more of a short film, tackles whether sports and athleticism can be combined with motherhood. Featuring more than 20 mothers all in various stages of pregnancy and postpartum, it has various athleticism levels from the everyday mom to some of the most bad-ass women ever – like Serena Williams, Alex Morgan, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Posted to Nike Women’s Instagram page, the short film includes the caption, “Motherhood looks different for everyone.” Continuing, “But no matter what you do or how you do it, you are the toughest athlete.”
It didn’t take long for the advertisement to go viral with over 1.9 million plays on Instagram – and thousands of comments. Loads of people thanked the company for an empowering message. Reminding us, and the world, that pregnant people and those raising kids are stronger than we know.