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Dewy Nicks for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

New campaign by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for the Women’s Tennis Association attracts cheers and flak

The campaign for the Women’s Tennis Association shot by Dewy Nicks for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners featuring pumped and sweaty Tennis stars has already generated some heat. With 38 current and next generation stars, the “Strong is Beautiful” campaign will run over multiple platforms for the next two years. Inspired by photographer and film-maker Dewy Nicks’ cover article for the New York Times magazine last year it has a thumbs up from Billie Jean King and from the players. It highlights the personal struggles players face, whether it’s Ana Ivanovic practicing in war-torn Belgrade, or Kim Clijsters being fully committed to both tennis and to being the mother of a young daughter. The Huffington Post however takes issue, suggesting that there’s more glitter and glamour than strength on display. “I’ve always said that women have to prove their femininity off court, while men can prove their masculinity on court,” the Huff Post quotes Michele Kort, senior editor of Ms. magazine and long-time women’s tennis fan. “Let’s imagine these ads were for the lesbian gaze instead of the male gaze: They wouldn’t be wearing glitter, and they’d be sweating for real, not looking like they’ve been sprayed by a water mister.” While another tennis mum points out that young women sometimes steer clear of sport because ‘getting sweaty’ and ‘being muscular’ goes against what teenage and young girls perceive as ‘beautiful’,  and these spots begins to reframe that negative perception. What do you think? A double fault, too glamorous and glittery? Or an Ace?

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