If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you most likely saw the colorful commercial featuring Serena Williams which charged women to “make the first move” on the popular dating app, Bumble. This commercial came out on the heels of Williams’ controversial U.S. Open loss to Naomi Osaka. After the match, Williams addressed the gender-bias that is prevalent in women’s athletics, especially regarding powerful emotions and clothing regulations, but she didn’t let her influence stop with that one interview.
Since then, Serena Williams has been featured in two different commercials to highlight sexism in the sports sphere. Williams’ Bumble commercial features clips of her own journey from childhood, to her successful career today, not only in tennis but in her activism efforts and professional endorsements as well. In the Bumble ad, Williams empowers women to take control of every aspect of their lives, whether it be their love lives, their careers, or just life in general. As Williams states at the end of the commercial, “Don’t wait to be given power– because here’s what they won’t tell you, we already have it.” With the debut of this commercial, Bumble also announced that Serena Williams has joined their team as a Global Advisor to promote equality amongst the sexes and influence women across the world to own their power.
Following the announcement of her partnership with Bumble, Williams has also joined forces with Nike as the voice of their new “Dream Crazier” campaign. In the commercial that was released this week, Williams’ voice-over challenges gender stereotypes in athletics while clips of female athletes crying, shouting, or arguing play on the screen. She throws down the gauntlet against gender-bias by saying, “If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional. When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy.” All of these statements acknowledge how people describe male athletes breaking down barriers, in contrast with the negatively-charged rhetoric that is often used to describe female athletes doing the exact same thing. Toward the end of the commercial, Williams highlights the accomplishments of professional female athletes such as Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Chloe Kim, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, and even accomplishments from her own professional tennis career. Like the Bumble commercial, Williams makes a powerful statement at the end by saying, “If they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do.”