Why Shonda Rhimes Wants Us to Stop Believing in Society's Flawed Beauty System

Behind every superwoman like Shonda Rhimes, who needs no introduction, is a story. Imagine being one of the most powerful women in television yet representing an overwhelmingly small percentage of the pool. Rhimes is, in fact, the highest-paid showrunner in television. She's breaking ceilings when odds are against here, especially considering black women are paid 21% less than white women and 38% less than white men on average. The best thing about Rhimes is she's making it a point to reach back and pull forward. She's got Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder under her belt, but she's also dedicated to changing the narrative of how young women see themselves and their bodies in the media. For many years, the media's limited and flawed beauty standards impacted the minds of young women everywhere, including mine. Rhimes has teamed up with Dove Girl Collective, a sisterhood that empowers women to embrace body confidence and let go of beauty standards. It's a part of Dove's self-esteem project, which confronts these polarizing thoughts and encourages girls to define beauty on their own terms.

I had the opportunity to attend the Girl Collective conference in Los Angeles, and being in a room of over 300 young women for a day full of self-love was beyond inspirational. Rhimes spoke on a panel with other imitable women like singer SZA, LGBT rights activist Jazz Jennings, and body activist Alexandra Thomas, who have unapologetically owned who they are. Keep reading to hear Rhimes's honest and unfiltered thoughts on what it means to set your own standards and define beauty for yourself.