Nike has launched a new campaign designed to encourage young European women and girls to participate in sports. The campaign is called "Here I Am" and Maria (who, let's face it, is arguably European at this point) is the face of it. According to the press release:
In the five animated films Nike shares the stories of famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova whose critics have unwittingly fueled her success, Italian triple jumper Simona La Mantia who found her strength in what she thought was her greatest weakness, Swiss triathlete Nicola Spirig who thrives in apocalyptic weather conditions, 400M sprinter from the UK Nicola Sanders whose animated body parts show us the age-old struggle between mind and body and French Judoka Delphine Delsalle who defeats a multitude of disapproving opponents yet retains her femininity.
So here is the artsy, if somewhat ambiguous spot on our Masha.
So you too can be a tennis megastar if you abandon your mother and your homeland to fly across the world and train in the United States and overcome the harsh accusations that you're "Too Pretty".
Sign on up, ladies!
All kidding aside, I am all in favor of any campaign that encourages sports participation among young girls. It's so important to the development of their self-esteem, self-worth, respect for their bodies, and confidence. So good on you, Nike!