Nike has sparked fury after starting a partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney – who posed for a series of pictures in leggings and a sports bra.
Furious feminists, and some men, slammed the decision by Nike to give the coveted sponsorships for a prominent women’s line to a transgender woman.
It is not the first time that Nike has used a trans star in their marketing, launching their ‘Play New’ campaign in 2021 with Mara Gomez, who is the first trans woman to play in Argentina’s professional football league.
Mulvaney, who has not yet had gender-reassignment surgery, is currently on hormones to help her transition into a woman – and has been documenting her change ‘into girlhood’.
In her latest Nike posts, Mulvaney appeared in a pair of black skin-tight leggings and a white sports bra, and could be seen striking yoga poses in a sunny backyard.
A video showed her dancing about the yard in her bare feet doing mock workouts while an upbeat song played over the performance.
Many took to social media to express their outrage that Mulvaney had been given the sponsorship and not a biological woman, and puzzled about who the brand was trying to sell its products to with the ads.
‘I really used to enjoy @Nike as a brand but I will never wear another shoe from them after they feature Dylan Mulvaney as their new ambassador for women’s clothing,’ one user wrote. ‘When will these brands understand that women do not want men dressing up as them to advertise their products?’
‘Dylan Mulvaney is making the biggest mockery out of women and I am officially outraged following his collaboration,’ another wrote. ‘You chose him over all hardworking women who workout regularly in your activewear? What a damn damn shame. Absolutely disgusting.’
‘Nike Women have hired Dylan Mulvaney to be the new face of their Women’s Bra & Sports Bra Range,’ wrote a third. ‘A brand would likely pay someone like Dylan, who has 1.7 million followers + huge media attention around $50,000-100,000 for this! Why doesn’t Nike pay a real women to promote a product that is solely for women?’
Others said it looked like Mulvaney was mocking women by putting on a ‘minstrel show’ of femininity in the video, an accusation which has been thrown at her in the past over her content.
She has been documenting her journey, explaining that she didn’t get a childhood as a girl, and was exploring what that would be like before heading into ‘womanhood’ – despite some criticizing her choices to describe it as ‘girlhood’.