Shonda Rhimes has taken over television in an extraordinary way — as the top-paid showrunner in television at the moment, Rhimes is taking the industry by storm. With iconic shows like Grey’s Anatomy (which had 15 seasons under its belt), How to Get Away With Murder (which currently has 5 seasons) and Scandal (which ended on its 7th season), it’s clear to see that Rhimes has left a deep imprint.
Photo: Dove’s Girl Collective
Rhimes isn’t just about making great television, she is also making a conscious effort to help shift beauty standards. Rhimes has partnered up with Dove Girl Collective, a sisterhood that empowers to let go of beauty standards and embrace body confidence through self-esteem projects and identifying their own beauty standards. During Dove Girl Collective’s conference in Los Angeles, Rhimes was accompanied on stage by SZA, Jazz Jennings and Alexandra Thomas to discuss representation and women in the media.
When Rhimes was asked about shifting the narrative of representation, she revealed that, like many of us, she couldn’t relate to the women on television when she was growing up because they didn’t seem realistic. As Rhimes began writing, she made it a point to write about people that she wanted to watch and people who felt like people she knew. According to Byrdie Beauty, Rhimes quoted one of her reads, Year of Yes which stated:
“The goal is that everyone should get to turn on the TV and see someone who looks like them and loves like them. And just as important, everyone should turn on the TV and see someone who doesn't look like them and love like them. Because perhaps then they will learn from them. Perhaps then they will not isolate them. Marginalize them. Erase them. Perhaps they will even come to recognize themselves in them. Perhaps they will even learn to love them."
It is, of course, easier said than done to simply shift a narrative that’s been around for a long time, and this is something that Rhimes is very aware of this. During the conference, she admitted that something is wrong with the beauty standards that are set in place and deemed it necessary to challenge the beauty standards that have been set in place for us.
For those struggling to find self-love and self-acceptance, Rhimes noted that it’s important to remember that “You ARE enough just the way you are. I believe everyone's body is theirs and everyone has the right to love their body in whatever size and shape and package it comes in. I will fight for anyone's right to do so. Your body is yours. My body is mine. And no one's body is up for comment. No matter how small, how large, how curvy, how flat.”
According to Ebony, SZA chimed in on self-love and self-acceptance, sharing personal stories of times that she’s had to overcome her own insecurities and reminding the audience of 300 women to “never let haters’ hate cause self-doubt.”
Rhimes ensures to prioritize her mental health by enjoying her favorite music, dancing and taking very, very long showers. Despite her success, self-love and self-acceptance, Rhimes has also had moments in which she’s not feeling her best self. When she’s experiencing these moments, she brags about her positive attributes to help remind herself just how talented she is:
“For me, I'm an incredibly talented writer with a very good booty and a good sense of humor.”
For more, check out Shonda Rhimes keynote speech below:
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