Media OutReach – 20 April 2023 – Unilever’s global beauty brand, LUX, is rallying people once more to stand up against everyday sexism. This time it is calling out the objectification of women’s bodies in sport, highlighting how the media zeroes in on female intimate body areas rather than focus on their sporting prowess.
At South Africa’s highly anticipated Durban Open Women’s Beach Volleyball tournament this week, female athletes sported QR code on precisely those areas the cameras tend to focus on. Upon scanning, these ‘viewers’ were directed to a short film – ‘Hey Camera’, which calls on those behind the cameras to end the blatant objectification of women and, instead, focus on their strengths.
Bringing this campaign to live, LUX partnered with one of South Africa’s leading broadcaster, The South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC Sport, which has an audience of 19.7 million in South Africa to livestream the event on 15th and 16th of April.
LUX’s #ChangeTheAngle campaign aims to get broadcasters and photographers reconsidering their portrayal of women in sport. The integrated campaign has also been pulled through online, social and PR channels with thousands of generated content via influencers, celebrities, athletes and media such as Gsport4girls, 2 times olympic gold medal Caster Semenya, Cricket commentator Kass Naidoo, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi.
LUX understands the need to stop objectification of women as it can lead to more serious forms of sexism. According to its research, women are 10 times more likely to be objectified than men. While this objectification is rife across society, the brand saw that sports was the perfect, attention-grabbing example to call this out. Men in sports are frequently portrayed as strong role models who are at the top of their game. On the contrary, women’s body parts are what receive the most attention, with cameras zooming into their breasts or exposed butt cheeks.
LUX believes this objectification can diminish female achievements and also undermine confidence. The #ChangeTheAngle campaign aims to create a sense of urgency among people to call out what are increasingly unacceptable behaviours in real time and put pressure on broadcasters to change the camera gaze by sharing 6 guidelines for them to adhere to while filming women in sport.
“Women in sports are 10 times more likely to be objectified by camera angles that focus on certain body parts compared to their male counterparts. When we found out that this is also an issue for top female athletes who have achieved incredible things, we knew we had to act,” Severine Vauleon, Global Brand Vice President of LUX says, “This doesn’t only devalue the female athletes’ professional performance and achievements, but also perpetuates the objectification issue many women face every day. At LUX, we believe that beauty should be a source of strength, and that the focus should be on celebrating the beauty of their strength, skills and achievements in sport.”
“This is a bold and powerful move for a beauty brand like LUX to take, and it makes me even prouder to be a part of the LUX family. I am hoping to see the change that we need in the sports fraternity so that women athletes are celebrated for the amazing talent that they have rather than being objectified in a sexual manner. I encourage everyone to do what they can to participate and push media in South Africa and across the world to #Change the Angle” Says Zozibini Tunzi former Miss Universe.
“This initiative is part of our Positive Beauty mission, which is at the heart of our Beauty, Wellness and Personal Care category, championing progressive commitments and actions for our brands into a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive. LUX is one of South Africa’s most iconic heritage brands representing women, earning itself a heartfelt voice to challenge stereotypes by supporting woman in different aspects of their lives. A woman’s beauty is inclusive of her strength, her capabilities and her talent. LUX #ChangeTheAngle”, amplifies the voices of women in sport and their strength on the field or on the court.” – Sphelele Mjadu Unilever Beauty, Wellbeing & Personal Care Senior PR Lead for Africa.
Hinoti Joshi, Global Business Lead, from Wunderman Thompson, Singapore, who spearheaded the campaign says, “The media and broadcasters have the power to change the sexist portrayal of women. We are actively calling them out so that they can recognise the flaws in this antiquated practice and become change agents to end everyday sexism.”
Watch the film here:
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