News and Stories - Gender equality - 18 November 2019

Mrs Claus is coming to town

Mrs Claus is coming to town

A partnership with The Body Shop Australia

This festive season we’ve teamed up with The Body Shop Australia, as they free Mrs Claus from her North Pole exile and ensure women are better represented this Christmas!

For many silly seasons, Santa has been front and centre, while Mrs Claus sits in the background, never more than a sidekick – she doesn’t even have a first name. And when Santa’s better half does make an appearance, she’s usually portrayed in one of two stereotypical ways – as a frumpy housewife, or a sex symbol in a skimpy, skirted version of Santa’s suit.

Well this year, Mrs Claus is getting the acknowledgement and portrayal she – and every other woman – deserves.

To empower girls and women across the country and get equality on the holiday agenda, our friends at The Body Shop Australia are introducing the real Mrs Claus – a strong, smart, empowered woman, and an equal partner in the North Pole operation.

This Christmas, they are bringing you three fierce Mrs Claus’– none other than Em Rusciano, Flex Mami and Ali Brigginshaw! (pictured below, from left to right)

Comedian and writer Em Rusciano, DJ and influencer Flex Mami and rugby legend Ali Brigginshaw are reinventing Mrs Claus this Christmas!
Comedian and writer Em Rusciano, DJ and influencer Flex Mami and rugby legend Ali Brigginshaw are reinventing Mrs Claus this Christmas!

These fearless and inspiring women will be visiting The Body Shop selected stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from the 29th of November to the 1st of December, and you can meet them – skip the Santa photo this year and get snapped with Mrs Claus!

And forget about telling her what you want for Christmas, she’s more interested in hearing about your hopes and dreams, and she may even impart some wise advice if you’re lucky.

For just $10 you’ll get yourself an empowered photo with Mrs Claus and all proceeds will be donated to Plan International Australia’s Youth Activist Series – a 12-month training and leadership program to launch the dreams of Australia’s future change-makers.

For more information and to book your photo visit The Body Shop Australia website HERE.

Why is gender equality so important during the festive season?

New research from The Body Shop Australia has revealed that over half of the nation (55%) and 59% of women believe gender equality would be the best gift for Christmas this year, and almost 80% of both men and women agree that progress still needs to be made if we are to achieve equality around the world.

But despite the inroads to equality made by the likes of the #MeToo movement and day-to-day stereotype smashing, 87% of Australians agree that many families revert to outdated gender roles during the festive season.

Research found that women bear the brunt of Christmas chores, from cooking (68%), buying gifts (60%), and cleaning (49%), with men more likely to be found in front of the TV watching sport (44%).

A lack of balanced gender representation was also identified at this time of year, with the most recognised Christmas characters (excluding religious figures) being men and Mrs Claus ranking far behind Santa in popularity.

Shannon Chrisp, Director of Marketing & Corporate Responsibility at The Body Shop Australia highlights: “Australians definitely agree Christmas is a time for bringing people together, but research also shows us that outdated stereotypes rear their head over the holidays. As a brand that champions fairness and equality, The Body Shop hopes to inspire both men and women to dream big and fight gender norms, both during the festive season and beyond.”

About the research 
YouGov conducted the study online among a representative sample of 1,032 Australians aged 18-69 years in October 2019.

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