Unilever-owed personal care brand Lux has launched an animated campaign calling for 800m Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya to be allowed to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games because she has hyperandrogenism, a condition which causes high levels of testosterone.
The ad begins as Semenya prepares to step out into the crowd, alongside a quote from the athlete which says: "I am an athlete and I am fast." Plagued with scrutiny from the press claiming that the athlete isn’t a woman and is unfeminine, the Olympic stage fades to black as it says that Semenya is no longer allowed to perform competitively because World Athletics does not consider her to be a woman.
It goes on to showcase people with "special gifts" and "extraordinary biology" across all Olympic fields who were never banned from competing, before delving into Semenya’s experiences with hyperandrogenism. "Lux believes that women should not be judged for how they look, that no woman should ever be stripped of being a woman," the ad declares as an animated Semenya breaks free from her struggles and returns to the track.
It ends by encouraging people to sign a petition challenging world Athletics’ decision to ban Semenya from the upcoming competition. it was created by Ricardo Tronquini and Ai-Lin Tan, and directed by Ralph Karam through Le Cube. Media is handled by PHD
Last month, Unilever banned the word "normal" from its packaging as part of the company’s "Positive Beauty" programme, which aims to drive inclusion and gender equality across the sector.