Nike has just released a powerful ad celebrating India’s female athletes on their way to besting their buddies on the cricket field or representing their country in the Olympic Games in Rio. The ad features strong women running, jumping, and just doing it while “Da Da Ding” from M.I.A. collaborator Gener8ion (featuring L.A.’s rising rapper Gizzle) provides the perfect heart-pumping, Rocky Balboa–inspiring soundtrack. It’s one of those ads that can bring a tear to the eye of even the most cynical ad watcher wary of selling female empowerment back to the women it’s meant to empower.
But behind the glossy ad, lies an even more powerful message. One of the athletes starring in the commercial is Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, who posted the video on Facebook along with a powerful message about how sports helped her manage her depression: “Two years ago I struggled with depression. I was sinking. I almost gave up. But it was the athlete in me that gave me the strength to fight and never ever give up! And so I want to say to every girl and every boy and every woman and every man…play a sport…because it changed my life…and it will change yours too!” Read the full message here.
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