As the powerhouse behind such hits as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, writer/producer Shonda Rhimes has brought countless strong female characters to the small screen — from Meredith Gray to Olivia Pope to Annalise Keating. But now, Rhimes is going one step further: She’s teamed up with Dove to launch Real Beauty Productions, a new kind of production company that aims to “put the power of storytelling directly into the hands of real women and girls” by creating real stories based on real women’s lives.
“For too long, the definition of beauty has been too narrow, and let’s face it, unreal,” Rhimes says in a newly released video for the campaign. “This is one of the big reasons why I tell stories. Real stories that reflect the real world. Stories that show us as we truly are. And I think it’s particularly important for women and girls to know that they have an amazing story, as well.”
But Rhimes and her team can’t do it alone — on its website, Dove is asking women of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures, to share a story about themselves (or someone close to them) that redefines what beauty means. If your story is chosen, you just may see it be brought to life in a film short produced by Rhimes herself.
But the best part? You’ll also get to be a part of bringing that story to life — and work with Rhimes and her team at Dove to make it a reality. (How’s that for awesome?)
“As part of our team,” explains Rhimes, “you’ll be with us every step of the way as we bring your story to screens everywhere.” Yep — that means behind the scenes and on set with Shonda herself!
Aside from how incredible that experience sounds, it’s pretty clear that this kind of a movement is more than necessary, for a few reasons. According to Dove, “research shows 8 out of 10 girls and 9 out of 10 women stop doing something they love based on how they feel about the way they look.” At the same time, an overwhelming 69 percent of women say they don’t see their lives reflected on screens at all.
It’s impossible to consider those two stats and not see how clearly media plays a huge role in all of it. But together, both Rhimes and a team of creatives at Dove hope to change all that. According to Rhimes, the campaign hopes to “challenge unrealistic ideas of beauty, inspire women to be themselves, and help all women and girls love the bodies they were born in.”
“Every woman has a story,” Dove’s website adds. “Let’s share them together.”
Think you have a story you think is worth telling? Head over to DoveRealBeauty.com and submit now — this time next year, you might just be sitting on a film set, shoulder to shoulder with THE Shonda Rhimes, watching it all come to life.