The Dove Self Esteem Project

Free to be myself

Dove is on a mission to create a world where beauty is a source of confidence not anxiety and to help improve the self-esteem of girls and women so they can reach their full potential in life. Dove is the number one provider of self-esteem esteem education in the world. So far, in Australia & New Zealand we’ve reached over 900,000 young people with Dove Self-Esteem workshops run in partnership with the Butterfly Foundation (Australia) and Life Education (New Zealand). This has contributed to the 35 million young people we’ve reached globally.

Every year our employees also have the opportunity to take part in ‘Dove Day’ and experience first-hand the impact of the Dove Self Esteem Project. Since 2016, our passionate employees have helped run self-esteem workshops at schools across Australia and New Zealand reaching over 1892 young people. As Carmen Younis, Dove Brand Manager explains –

“Dove has a very strong purpose to build self-esteem and body confidence and for me it’s such an inspirational brand to work on because you see the real difference we can make. With 6 out of 10 girls telling us the way they look holds them back from participating in activities like sport and even putting their hand up in class, the Dove Self Esteem Project is helping the next generation of young people develop a positive relationship with the way they look.”

Graph showing increase

Australian and NZ youth completed workshop

Dove and the Cartoon Network

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We continue to expand the program across both Australia and New Zealand, including rolling out digital resources to increase its reach. Last year, in a world first, Dove and Cartoon Network’s beloved children’s show Steven Universe have banded together to build self-esteem and body confidence in children through a brand-new series of six short animated films.

Working with the Dove Self-Esteem Project, all the new series content was carefully co-created and grounded in scientific evidence by body image expert, Dr Phillippa Diedrichs at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England.

Project #ShowUs

A group of women

70% of women still don’t feel represented in media and advertising. That’s why this year, Dove is taking action with Girlgaze, Getty Images, and women everywhere to create Project #ShowUs – the world’s largest photo library created by women and non-binary individuals to shatter beauty stereotypes. With over 5000 images, we’re looking to offer a more inclusive vision of beauty to all media and advertisers.

The project is powered by from 39 countries, in front of and behind the camera, and allows women to decide how they want to be seen.

The No Digital Distortion Mark

The ‘No Digital Distortion’ Mark is a continuation of Dove’s Real Beauty Pledge: our commitment to always portray women as they are in real life – and never using the manipulated, unachievable images of ‘perfect’ beauty created by image distortion. Launched in 2018, the ‘No Digital Distortion’ Mark shows that the women featured in Dove images are just as you’d see them in real life, with no alterations to their body’s shape or size – because they’re 100% beautiful as they are.

Find out more about how we’re challenging stereotypes in advertising and how our brands are partnering with leading organisations to tackle mental health issues.

Cruelty-free beauty

In 2018, Dove achieved accreditation from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as cruelty-free. Since January 2019, PETA’s cruelty-free logo has begun to appear on Dove packaging to assure customers that Dove does not, and will not, conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world.

PETA has also recognised Unilever’s ongoing work on developing alternative approaches to animal testing and commitment to promoting their adoption worldwide. For over 30 years, we’ve been developing ways for assuring our products are safe, which don’t involve testing on animals. We collaborate with more than 50 partners across the world, including governments and NGOs, openly sharing our scientific expertise and approaches with all interested stakeholders.

Unilever is also supporting Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree initiative. This is leading legislative reform in key beauty markets to ban cosmetic animal testing and trade. As part of this, Unilever is investing in non-animal safety assessment training for future cosmetics safety scientists.

To facilitate the adoption of a global animal testing ban for cosmetics, we’ve offered to collaborate with an even broader range of stakeholders on a global scale to share our safety assessment approaches. We’re hopeful that through collaboration – among companies, NGOs and governments – it will soon be possible to assess the safety of all cosmetics products without the need for animal testing anywhere in the world.

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