UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 National Partner, Venus, has unveiled a series of powerful photographs in the next phase of its #MoveYourSkin campaign to showcase what real skin in sport looks like. Scars, bumps, cellulite, cuts, hairs and all, Venus aims to normalise real skin in the game and inspire a new wave of women and girls into sport.
The campaign seeks to tackle the issue of ‘skin-consciousness’ identified as a major barrier into women’s sport, according to research published by Venus earlier in the year. Findings of the study revealed nearly half of UK women (47%)* admitted they would feel more confident in their own skin, if they were exposed to more relatable images of women playing sport.
The photography, shot by female sports photographer Amy Maidment, intentionally challenges perceived skin “imperfections” to reveal the beautiful truth and powerful human stories behind them. Among the women captured for #MoveYourSkin are newly announced Venus ambassadors, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Lia Lewis, who share their own personal experiences as women who are re-writing the rules on and off the pitch. Venus “Skin Squad” members Em Clarkson and Alex Light also feature alongside a wave of young female talent from education and social inclusion charity, Football Beyond Borders (FBB).
Commenting on her involvement in the campaign and role as a new Venus ambassador, England Lioness and Arsenal WFC player, Lotte Wubben-Moy, said: “I want to be part of a movement that encourages girls to be active and tells them they can play any sport if they want to. The legacy of the Women’s EURO 2022 tournament must be about removing all the barriers that exist, from logistical barriers like where they can play, to psychological and societal barriers like skin-consciousness. As an England Lioness in the public eye, I’ve suffered with insecurities about how I look, but playing sport and being part of a team boosts your confidence and helps you find who you are beneath your skin, and that’s something that all girls deserve to find.”
Extending its existing partnership with youth education charity Football Beyond Borders’ Girls Programme, Venus will be developing a new in-school module to open conversations with girls and non-binary young people about their relationships with their bodies, supporting them to be more confident and active as they move through adolescence.
Commenting on the importance of the campaign, Ceylon Andi Hickman, Head of Brand for FBB said: “Empowering the young people we work with to feel more confident in every aspect of their lives is critical to tackling many of the difficulties they encounter due to low self-esteem. Being active and experiencing the power of sport has a profound impact to both their physical and mental health. #MoveYourSkin has an important role to play in making girls and women feel represented and ensuring they don’t miss out on all the benefits of sport due to feelings of insecurity”
Commenting on the campaign Olivia Hughes, Senior Communications Manager for Venus said: “We’ve come a long way in celebrating women’s bodies for what they can do, not how they look. Yet, there’s still a lingering self-consciousness behind perceived skin imperfections – especially when it comes to sport. Building on the incredible momentum following the UEFA Women’s EURO we want to ensure the legacy continues as we redefine what real skin in sport looks like and encourage more women and girls into the game. We’re so proud to have Lotte and such a powerful line up of real women on and off the pitch help front this campaign with us. These images are just the beginning with more to come with Football Beyond Borders as we take this message into classrooms.”
Read Venus’ full ‘Move Your Skin’ manifesto at @gillettevenusuk or get involved by sharing imagery from the photo series or showing how you #MoveYourSkin to inspire others to re-write the rules too.
Photo Series Credits:
• Photography: Amy Maidment, @amy.maidmentphoto
o Lotte Wubben-Moy, @lottewubbenmoy
o Lia Lewis, @lia.lewis
o Football Beyond Borders, @footballbeyondborders
o Em Clarkson, @em_clarkson
o Alex Light, @alexlight_ldn