Shonda Rhimes and Cathleen Meredith who stars in "Meet Cathleen"
Shonda Rhimes and Cathleen Meredith who stars in “Meet Cathleen”

Launched in March, with Shonda Rhimes as its Creative Director, Dove Real Beauty Productions is a new collaborative content studio that “shifts the power of storytelling from Hollywood into the hands of real women.” The first film produced under this new initiative is titled “Meet Cathleen.” Premiering online May 22, the film follows Cathleen Meredith who, via her love of dance, comes to realize her own beauty.

“Dove and I have a shared passion in emphasizing what’s real. The characters that I write about come from the fact that I wanted to see real women on TV – the real and messy stuff that makes us human,” said Shonda Rhimes. “In working with Dove and Real Beauty Productions, we get to talk to real women and hear their own beauty stories. The idea that Cathleen defines beauty as self-love is a very mind blowing concept. I don’t think a lot of us, me included, define beauty in terms of self-love. And, to me, that is so empowering.”

The platform’s intent is to give women like Cathleen the encouragement to be fearless in taking on challenges and celebrate their passions.

Cathleen and her dance group called Fat Girls Dance became a body-positive modern dance movement when they began challenging themselves to learn, perform and record one dance a week for a year. It was through watching herself dance in videos that Cathleen says she started loving and embracing her body, finding a renewed confidence, while unknowingly encouraging others watching her dance to embrace their bodies as well.

“I don’t think we know how much we are told that there is something wrong with our bodies. I think beauty should be fearlessness. I think beauty should be resilience. I think beauty should be creativity,” said Cathleen. “I feel so lucky to have worked with a powerful role model like Shonda Rhimes on such an important project – one I hope will inspire every other woman out there to define beauty for themselves.”

Watch the first short film “Meet Cathleen” in full below: