Unilever Launches Powerful New Sexism Simulation Encouraging Men To “Walk In Her Shoes”

Unilever Launches Powerful New Sexism Simulation Encouraging Men To “Walk In Her Shoes”
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Unilever beauty brand, LUX, is launching a campaign to highlight the impact of casual sexism faced by women in their everyday lives by inviting men to experience it first-hand for themselves.

Whether on the street or in the workplace, women are constantly judged on the way they dress, walk and speak. From catcalls to inappropriate compliments, everyday sexism is shockingly commonplace – and is causing women to self-edit their beauty and how they express their femininity as a result.

Although the problem exists on a global scale, many men don’t consider that they are doing or saying anything wrong.

Nor are they aware of the damaging impact that seemingly offhand comments like “Cheer up, you look prettier when you smile” may have on women’s self-worth.

The new LUX campaign, titled “In Her Shoes” and created by WPP’s Wunderman Thompson Singapore, aims to spark a conversation and bring about real behaviour change by giving men the opportunity to – quite literally – walk in women’s shoes.

The campaign cleverly leverages City Walks – a quickly growing platform where users can take a virtual stroll around different cities around the world – to offer men a glimpse of the sexism that women suffer by doing something as simple as taking a walk.

The campaign has been kicked off in the Middle East. When users visit the platform, they can click on “In Her Shoes”, a special button allows them to toggle between experiencing the walk as a man, or as a woman.

While men can enjoy an uninterrupted ramble, soaking up the sights and sounds of the city, the female perspective is very different.

Crossing a bridge or wandering down a side street attracts unwanted attention from groups of men, with users subjected to casually sexist remarks like “Why this red lipstick?”, or “Stop here, I wanna talk to you!”

To build on the campaign and transform the perpetrators of sexism into allies, feedback was collated from male users who have experienced the LUX “In Her Shoes” as a woman, encouraging self-reflection through a series of questions asking how the ordeal made them feel, and how they think women feel as a result.

“In Her Shoes” is underscored by LUX’s pledge to inspire women using content, partnerships and activations to help them rise above everyday sexist judgments and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically.

In March 2021, Unilever launched a new Positive Beauty vision and strategy globally which aims to champion a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive.

LUX seeks to inspire women to confidently embrace their beauty and appearance as their own, as opposed to it being dependent on the opinion of others thus making their interpretation of their beauty their strength.

Speaking on behalf of LUX, Severine Vauleon, global vice president – LUX at Unilever said, “LUX has been celebrating beauty and femininity since 1925. We understand that beauty is a woman’s armour, her source of strength. It is hers to express, unapologetically.”

“We will continue to help women everywhere fight casual sexism at home, in the workplace and in wider society. Hence this campaign is in line with the brand’s purpose. At LUX, we believe that beauty should be a source of strength rather than a source of judgement.”

Marco Versolato, chief creative officer – WPP@Unilever/Wunderman Thompson Singapore said, “it’s one thing to be aware of sexism, but to actually experience it, is a whole other thing. That’s why this idea is about experiencing it for yourself. Because changing how we see and feel can change how we behave and act on this issue.”

Aristomenis Georgiopoulos & Artemis Stiga, creators of the City Walks platform, added, “casual sexism is prevalent in many countries, and conversations about this serious issue are now increasing.”

“It’s great that global brands such as LUX are raising awareness to drive positive action on it. We are all for gender equality and wish to eliminate all the discriminative behaviours, so that men and women can equally experience security and confidence in their everyday lives.”

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