There’s a new initiative being spearheaded by the beauty and skin care brand Dove called Real Virtual Beauty, which seeks to launch “a series of commitments challenging the representation of beauty online, and changing education for self-esteem in the virtual realm – i.e., video games.
Citing studies that show 74% of girls wish the characters in video games looked more like women in real life, Dove has joined hands with Epic Games and the activist group Women in Games in order to launch initiatives like a free-to-access global character art collection designed to “appropriately represents female characters in gaming” and an online course to educate developers, creators, and artists about beauty and diversity. In addition, Epic Games says it will release a series of Art Station avatars meant to broaden the spectrum of female representation, and Roblox will launch a game themed around self-esteem and experiencing widened representations of beauty.
Dove’s efforts in empowering women and girls’ self-esteem and perception of beauty aren’t new; the Dove Self-Esteem Project has apparently been underway since 2004. But this new initiative represents its first forays into gaming. “Together with our partners, Real Virtual Beauty can lead the way in transforming gaming into a positive place for women and girls,” the campaign page asserts.