Courtesy Dove Real Beauty ProductionsIf you’re looking for ways to feel more confident, we have exactly what you need. And no, it doesn’t require any fancy makeup products, fashion tips, or Photoshop skills. Others might advise you to quit the comparisons, but that’s easier said than done—especially when society places so much importance on appearances. Screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, on the other hand, wants to redefine those typical beauty standards completely.
“I think that we’re all often trapped in this idea that beauty is something that is defined by somebody else,” Rhimes said. “It feels very based in making people feel excluded. And frankly, there’s nothing beautiful about that.”
And most women agree; in fact, nearly 70 percent of women say that they don’t see themselves reflected in advertising, television, or movies, according to Dove’s website. (Learn the amazing thing that happens to your brain when the media embraces all body types.)
Courtesy GettyThanks to her hit television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, Rhimes has devoted her career to spotlighting strong, diverse females on the screen. That’s why she is now teaming up with Dove (and an all-female crew!) to highlight the stories of real women—no Photoshop allowed. Their collaboration, called the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, produces short films about inspiring women from a wide range of backgrounds and discusses what beauty means to each of them.
So far, three films have been released on Rhimes’s new website, Shondaland.com. The first features Cathleen, whose love of dance inspired her to start the group “Fat Girls Dance”—and changed her perspective on her own body, too. The second video follows hairstylist Kylee into her barbershop, where she creates a non-judgmental environment for women to feel comfortable expressing themselves through their hair.
And the latest film introduces Diana Wright, a teacher, wife, and mother who lost her left leg in an accident. Named after Wonder Woman, Diana has persevered in the face of intense physical struggle to serve as a role model for not only her two young girls, but also her entire fifth grade class.
Courtesy Getty“I’m very open about sharing my experience with the children,” Diana said in the film. “I like to just put it out there in the open. Why hide it?”
She also teaches her fifth graders an important lesson (one you won’t find in a typical textbook): How to define beauty by what they feel on the inside, not how they look on the outside. “When you persevere through all the challenges in life, that allows you to become stronger and confident. That’s beauty,” Diana said.
The campaign receives hundreds of videos for nominations, but Diana’s stood out to Rhimes. “She’s got this great, quiet, powerful confidence in her,” Rhimes said. “She’s happy with who she is. So there’s no sense of trying to hide, trying to cover up, trying to be something she’s not. She loves who she is, and she is happy to share it… You can feel that in her energy when you’re sitting with her.”
Inspired already? Watch the video for yourself below. We guarantee you’ll leave with chills (and maybe a few tears in your eyes.)