LUX calls out casual sexism by asking men to walk in women's shoes

Unilever beauty brand, LUX, has launched 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. Titled “In Her Shoes”, the campaign is done in collaboration with online platform City Walks to offer men a glimpse of the sexism that women suffer by doing something as simple as taking a walk. It aims to spark a conversation and turn men into allies by giving men the opportunity to walk in women’s shoes.

The campaign will run on City Walks' website and the Middle East microsite for "In Her Shoes". When users visit the platform, they can click on “In Her Shoes”, a special button that 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 experiences unwanted attention from a group of men, catcalls and inappropriate remarks. 

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 in real life.

Severine Vauleon, global VP of LUX at Unilever said that it will continue to help women everywhere fight casual sexism at home, in the workplace and in wider society. "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," she added.

Meanwhile, Aristomenis Georgiopoulos and Artemis Stiga, creators of the City Walks platform, said that casual sexism is prevalent in many countries, and conversations about this serious issue are now increasing. "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," they added.

“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. Earlier 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 is currently working on several activations and partnerships related to casual sexism which will be launched in the future.

Earlier this year, LUX eliminated the word "normal" from all of its beauty and personal care brands’ packaging and advertising, as part of the launch of its new Positive Beauty vision and strategy. The decision was one of the steps Unilever took to “challenge narrow beauty ideals and work towards helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty”. In addition to removing the word ‘normal’, Unilever announced that it will not digitally alter a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin colour in its brand advertising, and will increase the number of advertisements portraying people from diverse groups who are under-represented.

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