Dove continues its Self-Esteem Project by signing a three-year partnership with Cartoon Network and animated show Steven Universe.
Steven Universe—Cartoon Network’s first animated series created by a woman—is known for its themes of inclusivity. Dove hopes that young people will be positively impacted by sending body positive messages through the popular show.
On Thursday, the first of six animated short films will air that focus on self-esteem and body confidence, each directed by Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar. According to Dove, all the films’ content is based on scientific evidence by body image expert Dr. Phillippa Diedrichs at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England.
An original song featuring the cast of the show will be released later this year, along with a music video and an educational eBook.
“It has always been important to us that our content resonates with our audience and empowers them,” Christina Miller, president of Cartoon Network said in a statement. “This partnership is unprecedented in its scale, reach and ambition to make a difference in kids lives around the world.”
Dove’s Self-Esteem Project began in 2004 and includes resources for parents, teachers and youth leaders about body confidence, self-esteem and bullying.
There has been a noticeable shift in the beauty industry, moving away from ideal beauty standards and reaching consumers through body-positive messaging.
In January, CVC announced that it would no longer airbrush photos to promote its beauty products in stores. Later this year, photos that have not been significantly retouched will bear the “CVS Beauty Mark” label.
“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established,” Helena Foulkes, the president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health, said in a statement. “As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
Beauty brand Glossier made headlines last September with its Body Hero campaign. The print and digital ads featured five different models in the nude, each with a different skin color and body type ranging from thin to plus-sized and pregnant.
Dove came under fire for a campaign recently that featured women with different skin tones removing their shirts and transforming into one another. A black woman “transforming” into a white woman with Dove body wash was perceived as racist, and the ad was promptly removed with a formal apology.