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Dove’s Project #ShowUs Is Shattering Beauty Stereotypes

Self-defined beauty is the most authentic kind.

Statistics show that 70 percent of women still don’t feel they are being represented in the media. However, Dove is spearheading a campaign to change that narrative. Project #ShowUs is a library of images that represent realistic depictions of women around the world. With over 5000 images to choose from, this library created by female-identifying and nonbinary individuals is an effort to shatter beauty stereotypes.

The collection boasts inclusivity in the form of real diversity, true-to-life depictions, no digital distortion, and self-defined beauty. In addition, the project is 100 percent created by women from 39 different countries. The goal is to offer a more inclusive vision of beauty to media and advertisers so that more women can be represented. This project is opening the floor up to all different kinds of women in order to show beauty in its authentic form rather than define it by a factory-made perspective.

dove beauty stereotypes
Project #ShowUs is a commitment to creating a library of images that represent different kinds of women.

Being that we are constantly inundated with images of women who uphold flawless and unrealistic standards of beauty, it’s clear that this collection is a departure from the very first glance.

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The women in these photos have curves and frizzy hair, sweat stains, and tired eyes. They are stretching, smiling, moving, and loving. They wear curious expressions and they are doubled over in laughter. Very often, the focus of the image is on their emotions or their sense of focus while they work. These women are powerful, vulnerable, and they are beautiful too. Moreover, they look like the women you see walking down the street: colorful, full of dimension, strong and determined.

Some have lots of curves and others have none, some have long flowing hair and others tuck their strands under scarves. Some are classically feminine and others don’t ascribe to gender stereotypes. They are kneeling in prayer, discovering the world from their wheelchairs, fighting for the disadvantaged, and fighting for our country. These are the women we know and love. These are the women we are.

Beauty stereotypes falsely offer one narrow perspective of what the world considers worthy. It’s dangerously easy to get lost in that vision and this collection feels like a deep breath of fresh air. These photos are a reminder of how many different kinds of beauty there are in the world and they are an invitation to find yourself beautiful, too. A reminder that it’s your laughter, your determination, your strength, and the way your eyes light up when you see someone you love that make you beautiful. More than anything, this campaign is recognition that you are worthy because you are you.

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