WATCH: Serena Williams stars in powerful Nike ad during 2018 Oscars
The stirring ad for International Women's Day sends this message: 'There's no wrong way to be a woman'
The 90th annual Academy Awards took place on Sunday night in Los Angeles, with many of Hollywood's heavy hitters congregating to honor some of the best works of film over the past year.
As expected, there was plenty of political and social commentary mixed in between the presentations for achievement. Those things are pretty much standard at this juncture, and it's particularly relevant to the Oscars given the #MeToo movement that has swept Hollywood in recent months, but some of that commentary came from unexpected sources on Sunday night.
For one, Nike and tennis legend Serena Williams worked together to construct a powerful new ad that debuted during a commercial break in the show. That ad, which followed a performance of "This Is Me," features Serena Williams spreading the message that "there's no wrong way to be a woman."
Here's more about the ad, from Nike:
As we approach International Women's Day, Nike wanted to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women everywhere and share our belief in gender equality, in this case, delivered by Serena Williams, the greatest athlete of all time.
The Oscars provided a great moment to debut the film given its mass appeal and broad reach. We know this a culturally relevant topic that also resonates within Hollywood, so it was an ideal moment to leverage the platform to elevate this film and celebrate Serena Williams as a woman who has continued to break down barriers and inspire women everywhere.
The ad seeks to empower women through Williams, who has made a habit of challenging what is expected and "normal," all while becoming a legend in her arena.
"I didn't necessarily begin my career in tennis thinking I was going to be breaking down barriers in the sport, but I found myself in this space with a huge platform at my fingertips," Williams said. "Over time, I became much more conscious of the impact I had, and I became more conscious of what I had to do to make a difference.
"I embrace being a leader and continuing to pave the way for the next generation. I'm still looking to the future, to breaking down additional barriers like gender equality and pay equality. It doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and I'm going to keep on going and working at it, and I encourage others to use their voice and their platforms to do that same."
And Williams isn't merely taking on this leadership role for herself or for other women in her field. The 36-year-old gave birth to her first child -- a daughter -- about six months ago, and her motherhood has provided her with newfound inspiration.
"I want my daughter to be truthful and honest, strong and powerful; to realize that she can impact those around her. I want her to grow up knowing a woman's voice is extremely powerful. As females, we need to continue to be loud and make sure we are heard."
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