Dove is not only a brand that creates products for you to look and feel beautiful on the outside, but they are also committed to helping girls and women tap into their internal beauty as well. From campaigns like Beauty Portraits and Speak Beautiful, the popular beauty brand has been working diligently to encourage positive conversations that promote confidence, self-love and redefining what it means to be beautiful. In the latest chapter of the Dove Self Esteem Project, Dove teamed with Estelle and Cartoon Network to bring their message to San Diego Comic-Con.
Rebecca Sugar, creator of Cartoon Network's Emmy-nominated series Steven Universe, and songstress Estelle, who plays the voice of Garnet on the show, spoke on a panel titled "Superheroes of Body Positivity" about their own body image experiences and how they hope their show helps young women who watch it to accept themselves just the way they are.
So why did Dove and Cartoon Network make this connection? Both companies know how impressionable children can be, especially through the means of media. In a world full of glorified alterations, they want young women to develop a more positive outlook towards their own bodies, health and perception of others. Steven Universe accomplishes this message by using diverse characters and inclusive content/subject matter that directly correlates to the world we live in.
In addition to the series itself, Dove also got in on the animated fun with Cartoon Network to release a series of mini-films to address the topic of self-esteem set in Steven Universe's world. One film (as seen above) shows a conversation between Smoky Quartz and Sardonyx. While Smoky Quartz compares herself to Sardonyx at one point in the clip, Sardonyx reminds her that while we all function differently, we are all uniquely beautiful in our own right. Estelle and Sugar also co-wrote a music video titled "We Deserve To Shine," which highlights the Crystal Gems, and their friends, to celebrate their individuality:
Aside from the feel-good lyrics, the song and the collaborator's mission displays the importance of body positivity for girls and women alike. Women such as Roxane Gay, best-selling author and creator of Unruly Bodies, actress Danielle Brooks, CURVSI creator Kayla Rose, model Philomena Kwao and more are all adding their voices to the body positivity conversation. In many of their stories, it begins with the notion of comparison and attempting to fit into a societal "standard" of beauty (which Kwao points out in a piece for Metro could be different depending on where you come from), but they eventually realize that satisfying an outward audience is not relevant when you are your number one fan.
As different industries work towards being more inclusive across the board, we hope the body positivity movement is a motivating factor for women and girls to openly address the importance of celebrating yourself, flaws and all.
To see the Comic-Con panel discussion in its entirety, watch below:
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