Between book deals and Under Armour endorsements, her own Barbie doll and a spot at the judges table on NBC's "World of Dance," Misty Copeland has been one of the few ballerinas to break into mainstream pop culture. Now she's conquering the world of cosmetics. Yesterday, Esteé Lauder announced that Copeland is the new spokesmodel for its fragrance, Modern Muse. The name seems fitting, given how her journey to becoming American Ballet Theatre's first black principal woman has inspired so many. She'll front the fragrance's campaign across digital, print, in-store and television advertisements.
The dancer-as-brand-ambassador theme is catching on. Back in ballet's glory days, Suzanne Farrell was the face of L'Air du Temps perfume, while Mikhail Baryshnikov attached his name to not one, but two colognes. After a prolonged dry spell, we're happy to see dancers receiving mainstream visibility again as more companies book them to represent their brands. Here are just a few recent examples:
We love it when ballet dancers also happen to be inspiring role models in the community, and Dutch National Ballet soloist Michaela DePrince certainly falls into that category. As of last night, her reach will be extending much further. She's the newest face of Jockey's "Show 'Em What's Underneath" campaign.
What exactly, you may ask, is she "showing"? Her message of hope, which is a huge part of her story. Before she became a household name, as one of the Youth America Grand Prix competitors featured in the documentary First Position, DePrince had overcome unthinkable challenges. Originally from the war-ravaged Sierra Leone, she lost her parents and became an orphan at a young age. When she was adopted, she moved to the United States and began a brand-new chapter. Her days were soon filled with her serious pursuit of ballet, a career that would have been impossible had she stayed in her home country.