Dove‘s commitment to empowering girls and women through body positivity and boosting self-esteem continues with the launch of the Girl Collective, an initiative that aims to create a sisterhood that builds confidence and challenges beauty stereotypes.
To kick things off, Dove hosted an event where writer and television producer Shonda Rhimes inspired over 300 girls and women in the audience with her keynote speech. “I love the idea that we get to talk about the way women feel about themselves and the way we deal with self-esteem,” Rhimes, who has worked with Dove as a chief storyteller for two years, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. The one-day event featured a series of panels, master classes, and workshops that opened up the dialogue for girls and women to discuss issues ranging from gender stereotypes, beauty standards, and representation while collaborating on ways to combat them.
During her speech, Rhimes encouraged the young women in the crowd to explore who they are in order to define themselves and to ward off negativity. “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?”
Rhimes also expressed her admiration for this generation of girls, including her 16-year-old daughter, who was in the audience. “You think differently, you act, you care, you believe,” she said. “Even in this room, I see confident young girls who are going to change the world — one of them is my daughter.”
She also says that confidence can blossom with age. “I appreciate my face, my body, and myself in a different way than I did when I was a kid,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Like the things I didn’t like about myself at 15, I think are amazing now, so it’s just a different perspective.”
Rhimes admits that she has days when her confidence isn’t at its peak, but for the most part, her spirits remain high, partly thanks to her daughters. “I feel really happy to just be here,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I feel grateful to be on the planet, and I also have other people to focus on. When you’re a mom, you have others to focus on who I think are way more important than I am.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- This powerful portrait series shows body positivity is more than a trend
- People are taking to social media to celebrate the noses they were bullied for
- WWE star Nia Jax on how sports gave her confidence: ‘My body had its purpose’