By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
LUX, today voiced its support for renowned South African Olympic gold medalist, Caster Semenya. This comes off the back of her fight against the World Athletics board (IAAF) to allow her to compete in the 800m race in the upcoming 2021 Olympics.
In the animated video released in support of Caster, Lux highlights these issues and believes no woman should be "stripped of being a woman" or "judged for how they look", and ending with the words, "LUX stands with Caster. LUX stands for all women". LUX has decided to support and campaign for Caster, lending its brand voice through paid advertising on social channels and other media to garner more support for her and help overturn the IAAF ruling.
"It makes me very happy to see brands like LUX who fearlessly stand on the side of what is right. My case is but one amongst many experiences that can be heard and felt by women all over the world. My team will continue to fight the good fight. Like I have always said, this fight is not about me - it's about the future. Those talented up and coming athletes who are going to face the same discrimination. I have to make sure that I can honestly say, I did my bit. We all need to continue doing what's right in fighting for justice. And with the campaign my team has been working on, I am certain we will bring light to such issues beyond my case. I encourage everyone to unapologetically claim who they are and never waiver, no matter what society says. Thank you to my fellow South African's who have stood by me through this journey. I will not cower," said Caster.
Caster and her team are working on a campaign to garner support in her fight against this judgment, which will be announced soon. This campaign is inspired by South Africans and fans from all corners of the globe who have been warriors and very vocal about their support for Caster. This fight is not just about Caster, it is about basic rights for human dignity. Caster wants to bring to light issues of discrimination that women face all over the world.
On Tuesday, 9th 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. This mission echoes LUX's support for Caster who was "born this way" and has always had to face scrutiny and discrimination for traits she cannot change about her genetic make-up.
LUX believes that every woman has the right to express her beauty unapologetically and should not feel the need to self-edit. The brand's purpose is to inspire and empower women to celebrate beauty as a source of strength. Caster Semenya is an example of, and an inspiration for women everywhere to do just this: rise above the casual sexist judgments and express their beauty and femininity unapologetically.
In the fight against casual sexism, LUX is committed to establishing *partnerships and advocacy campaigns to help South African women rise above everyday sexist judgements and express their beauty unapologetically. It is the sly jokes, patronizing comments and lazy assumptions, that say it's okay to show disrespect. While many may not even recognise this as a problem, casual sexism sets a cultural context that leads to more extreme issues like harassment and violence.
Speaking on behalf of LUX, Sphelele Mjadu, Unilever Beauty & Personal Care Senior PR Manager for Africa, said, "LUX stands with Caster. As a brand that has supported women throughout the ages, playing a vital role in putting a stop to discrimination, we believe that every woman has the right to express their femininity whichever way they choose to. While Caster has continually had to choose between being an athlete and being a woman, we say that no woman should be judged for how they look, and no woman should be stripped of being a woman. We invite everyone to rise above hurtful judgements."
To show your support for Caster, join the conversation and share your message online using the hashtag #IStandWithCaster and sign the petition here to overturn the World Athletics ruling.
Watch the teaser video to the #IStandWithCaster campaign below:
Video Courtesy of LUX.