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Web Animation / Dove Self-Esteem Project x Steven Universe

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We’ll figure it out, there’s plenty of time
for every body and every mind
and every facet to finally find that
we deserve to shine!

A series of online animated shorts featuring characters from Steven Universe, made in collaboration between Cartoon Network and the Dove Self-Esteem Project.

Each one has the character addressing the audience, covering a different subject related to body image.

The same collaboration also includes a quiz, "Which Crystal Gem Are You?", and a short, customizable eBook, Your Magic Mind and Body.

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The project in general provide examples of:

  • Animated Actors: The shorts portray the animated characters as shooting scenes on-set. Though obviously not part of the show's regular canon, the relation to it is nebulous: On one hand, almost all the characters are identical (both in personality and abilities) and experienced the same events. On the other hand, Jasper makes an appearance, acting much less antagonistic than usual and showing no signs of corruption. Word Of Rebecca Sugar is that it's meant to show the characters in a more "real" state, enhancing the message of embracing your real self.
  • Author Avatar: Lamar Abrams (the director of the shorts, as well as a storyboard artist from the show) voices the in-universe director of the shorts, who clearly resembles him as well.
  • Be Yourself: The overall message of the project is about not letting stuff like bullies, media, or personal insecurities keep you from loving yourself and discovering that True Beauty Is on the Inside.
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  • No Fourth Wall: All the shorts have characters directly talking to the audience through an In-Universe Camera.
  • Public Service Announcement: Has the format one generally associates with PSAs, although they technically aren't, as they're made without the involvement of a government body or non-profit organization (they could technically be considered toiletry commercials).
  • Running Gag: A minor case, each episode except "We Deserve to Shine" involves there being some sort of technical difficulty caused by one of the Gems.
    • In the first installment, Jasper trashes the set in a fit of anger over an offhand comment Amethyst makes.
    • In the second, Sardonyx gets stuck in the door of Smoky Quartz's dressing room.
    • In the fourth, Peridot levitates and shakes the camera using her ferrokinesis and ends up dropping it roughly.
    • In the fifth, Bismuth takes the set apart and rebuilds it into an even better form to demonstrate her skills and accomplishments.

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    "Appearance Related Teasing and Bullying" 
"Appearance Related Teasing and Bullying"

Examples:

  • The Bully: Jasper plays the role of the archetypal bully who tears others down to mask her own insecurities. Fitting, considering she basically was that in canon.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Jasper plays up her mean character from the show until the short's end, when she helps to deliver the message and admits to admiring Amethyst's ability to keep a cool head.
    Jasper: How do you keep your cool like that? This is so much pressure!
    Amethyst: Pressure made me who I am.
    Jasper: Wow.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Jasper is the only character to star in the shorts who isn't a member or ally of the Crystal Gems at the time of the project's release.
  • Trash the Set: Jasper's Hair-Trigger Temper sets off, and she rips the place apart while Amethyst calmly continues her message.

    "Competing and Comparing Looks" 
"Competing and Comparing Looks"

Examples:

  • Always Someone Better: Smoky Quartz and Sardonyx discuss the insecurities that may stem from this trope, only for Smoky to fall prey to their own insecurities. Sardonyx tries to restore their self-confidence, and inadvertently succeeds by demonstrating one advantage Smoky has over her — being able to properly fit through a doorway.

    "We Deserve to Shine" 
"We Deserve to Shine"

Examples:


  • Fusion Dance: Each duo except Pearl and Amethyst ends up fusing during the song. This is presumably due to a mix of Aimee Mann not being available for recording and the in-universe issue of Opal being too tall to fit into the studio.
  • Romantic Fusion: Garnet and Stevonnie, as per usual, are separately depicted as fusions of two people who are romantically in love.
  • Ship Tease: Amethyst and Pearl dance together during the filming, Pearl shows amusement at Amethyst's antics here and the two share a tender embrace after Amethyst assures Pearl that her performance was fine.

    "Media and Celebrities" 
"Media and Celebrities"

Examples:


    "Body Talk" 
"Body Talk"

Examples:

  • An Aesop: If you want to compliment someone, it's better to focus on things they've done, not how they look.
  • Compliment Backfire: The short discusses how statements about looks can offend someone even if meant as compliments. As an example, Pearl states it's obviously rude to tell Bismuth she doesn't like her new form, but it also makes her uncomfortable to talk about how much of an "improvement" it it over the last.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Halfway in, Bismuth gets angry that they're not talking about anything but looks, and goes on a rant about her accomplishments. Pearl says the point was to talk about those other things—which in Pearl's case was that she's glad Bismuth is back.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Bismuth appears and mentions her rejoining the Crystal Gems, a major twist from late in season five (which aired only five months before the short aired).
  • Trash the Set: A more controlled variation; Bismuth demonstrates her prowess by dismantling the set and rebuilding it into a new one with the Crystal Temple as a backdrop.

    Your Magic Mind and Body 
Your Magic Mind and Body

Examples:

  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The book begins with a brief questionnaire asking about reader's the name, preferred pronouns, and other traits about them, which gets incorporated into the book's dialogue.
  • Monster of the Aesop: Garnet describes the Diamond Authority this way; they force the Gems under their regime to follow a strict, predetermined role in their society, whereas the Crystal Gems fight for the acceptance of everyone's unique selves.
  • Not So Different: It's pointed out in the book all the ways that Gemkind's Bizarre Alien Biology is uniquely mirrored by human biology.


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