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Courtesy @shondarhimes

Dove launch new body positive initiative on International Day of the Girl


TextMatilda Ruck

Orchestrated by Shonda Rhimes, Girl Collective is an online and IRL initiative attempting to change the conversation surrounding women’s bodies

Dove is back flying the flag for body positivity once again with a campaign orchestrated by world-famous and award-winning writer, showrunner and producer Shonda Rhimes, the brains behind hit shows like Scandal and Grey's Anatomy. Named Dove's Chief Storyteller two years ago, Rhimes has been tasked with overseeing the creative narrative on the brand's video, online, IRL campaigns, with their latest offering being Girl Collective – a movement for multi-generational women and girls who are bent on changing the conversation surrounding women’s bodies for good.

To celebrate the launch last Saturday, hundreds of women and young girls were invited to join a conference held in Los Angeles. The event, which was the largest campaign event in the history of the brand, also featured a series of workshops, masterclasses and panel conversations between body positive activists and icons such as musician SZA and self-esteem educator Dre Brown.

Other inaugural members of the initiative include transgender activist Jazz Jennings, who became a household name back in 2007 when a six-year-old Jazz was interviewed on TV by Barbara Walters about her gender dysphoria, and body image activist and plus model Alexandra Thomas, who uses her YouTube account to spread empowering messages about self-love.

Leading with the statistic that 9 in 10 girls will read comments critiquing theirs or other girls’ looks each month, Rhimes used her keynote speech to encourage young women to question society’s standards and take back control when defining their own self-worth:

“Our world can be obsessed with opinions about appearances and guess what? The opinions don’t go away,” she said. “The voices on social media or in your school hallways are not going to be willingly silenced. Opinions will not go extinct, and quite honestly: Who gives a crap? Who cares about other people’s opinions?”

The campaign will launch today across the US, which is of course, by no coincidence, The International Day of The Girl.

Powered by the Dove Self Esteem Project, an initiative that has already provided online resources and toolkits for empowerment to 20 million women since 2004, the aim of Girl Collective is to expand that number to a network of 40 million by 2020. Such toolkits include step by step articles on how to communicate with your parents, activities on how to increase your body confidence, and training videos for teachers. 

With on-the-ground support in the form of school self-esteem workshops, the movement is launching an online initiative with a campaign video on YouTube and a Facebook group to act as a forum for inspiration, practical advice and encouragement to girls and young women anywhere.

Join the movement today at Facebook.

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