Why you shouldn't be angry about Kendall Jenner's Adidas ad

The model's new Adidas Originals ad attracted criticism because she is not an athlete

By Andrea Tim | Published: 15 Aug 2017

Don't hate Kendall
Screenshot from Adidas

Kendall Jenner has made a lot of people very angry this year – we count the Pepsi ad and the 'vintage' B.I.G and 2Pac T-shirts – and the hate seems to have bled into reactions to her new Renaissance art-inspired Adidas Originals ad.

"I did what I had to do and did it my way," she says as she lies like Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man in one video. In another of her as a reincarnation of Botticelli's Venus, she says "I did what I had to do. I faced it all, and I stood tall."

Kendall's words echoes to Frank Sinatra's I Did It My Way, which also features as a (very creepy) remix in the campaign videos.

Of course, social media folk weren't happy about the ad. One user commented on Instagram: "She is beautiful, yes a model, that's not an athletic body and no, not for this campaign." Another even declared "No more Adidas for me."

But should people even freak out?

As Instagram user @just__ty pointed out, Adidas Originals is in fact the athleisure side of the Adidas brand: "Trying to figure out the backlash? Kendall is not an athlete and @adidasoriginals is not an athletic component but more of a street wear component (think NMD not UltraBoost)."

The Original is Never Finished campaign, in which the brand "reimagines the perfect human" also features basketball player James Harden as well as rappers 21 Savage, Young Thug and Playboi Carti. But of course, Kendall bore the brunt of the criticism from the same audience that goes nuts for Adidas's collaborations with Pharrell Williams, a singer-songwriter, music producer and – you may be shocked to know – not actually a fashion designer or an expert on what it means to be an athlete.

So calm down, everyone. We're not saying that Adidas shouldn't bother hiring athletes for Originals since it's not the sports-focused division; we're saying that its non-athlete ambassadors don't warrant this level of hatred. There are honestly better things to feel this passionately angry about. Adidas continuously features real athletes and fitness personalities in its sportswear brand; Wimbledon 2017 champion Garbiñe Muguruza and Japanese rock climber Nonaka Miho are just two names on a long list.

Adidas Originals defended Kendall's ambassadorship in a statement published by The Insider.

Original Is Never Finished celebrates a new group of creators, each who identify in their own way with the current generation. Each creative embodies the spirit of adidas Originals as a pioneering force shaping the world today by challenging the status quo in their very own way. All are true Originals and we look forward to our creative journey together. A longtime fan of the brand, Kendall embodies the spirit of adidas Originals as a creative force shaping the world today by challenging the status quo in her very own way. A classic icon, Kendall is a true Original and we welcome her to our family.

Related: Review: Adidas UltraBOOST X running shoes 


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