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Dove Unveils Real Virtual Beauty Campaign, Talks Female Empowerment

Photo by Jocelyn Morales / Unsplash

Personal care brand Dove has announced that it will enter the world of gaming with the global launch of its Real Virtual Beauty campaign.

Described as a series of commitments challenging the representation of beauty online, Real Virtual Beauty reflects the reality that more girls are spending time in the virtual world of gaming. Conscious of the fact that many female characters are heavily sexualized or two-dimensional, Dove intends to destroy tired beauty stereotypes and help female gamers build their self-esteem.

Real Beauty in Gaming

The campaign builds on the work of the Dove Self-Esteem Project which debuted in 2004. Real Virtual Beauty unites a coalition of gaming industry allies including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and the non-profit organization Women in Games. In fact, Dove and Epic Games will be launching a special RVB character art collection dedicated to boosting inclusivity in the gaming space.

A key plank of the campaign will be the Real Beauty in Games Training program, an online course curated to educate video game developers, creators and artists about beauty and diversity. The training course was designed in partnership with the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), the world’s largest research group focusing on the role of appearance and body image in people’s lives.

Reflecting on the campaign, Dove’s Global Vice President Leandro Barreto said: “We believe that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety, in every aspect of life – both real and virtual. As part of Dove’s social mission in confidence and self-esteem, we are taking steps to tackle negative stereotypes in the rapidly-growing games industry.

“Through our work with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine education team, Women in Games, and alongside the launch of SuperU Story on Roblox – we hope to make a real impact on the millions of women and girls who are spending their free time playing games.”

SuperU Story is a first-of-its kind game on the Roblox platform, expressly created to challenge entrenched beauty ideals. Developed by female-founded gaming studio Toya, and green-lit by the aforementioned Centre for Appearance Research, the release features an X-Men style school for kids with superpowers. When the kids come under attack from a gang of bullying students, they must tackle the poisonous barbs head-on and help save the school from being destroyed.

In SuperU Story, players get to customize their avatars to achieve a more realistic ideal of beauty, as well as explore the academy’s various halls and classrooms.