- identify different messages about body image coming from or directed at different cultural groups, historical periods, gender and age groups;
- gain critical awareness about the source of beliefs about body size and shape;
- identify specific actions they can take to move beyond physical appearance as a guiding force in their social lives;
- work on an attitude of acceptance toward their own and others’ diverse body shapes and sizes.
- Where do ideas about body size and shape come from?
- What problems can result from a narrow definition of the size and shape a body should take?
- How can we work to combat negative body image in ourselves and in our peers?
- chart paper
- printouts of the following images and accompanying captions
There are a variety of resources for children about body image in different contexts. This article addresses differences in body image in a variety of cultures. Images of idealized bodies from different decades can be found here. Common Sense media addresses body image issues specific to young boys. Finally, this website addresses a variety of issues pertaining to diversity of body image.
This is the third lesson of the series, I See You, You See Me: Body Image and Social Justice, designed to help studen
When students go home, encourage them to attend to different representations of beauty in the world around them. These representations are sometimes correlated with ideas about what constitutes a healthy body, and they are sometimes dictated by any number of other cultural forces. Have them pay attention to what they see on media, but also to what their families describe. Give students a chance to report back and note the diversity of responses—body image comes from the world around us and is not at all absolute.
When students share adjectives for describing beauty, encourage English language learners to develop their descriptive vocabulary. They may use the class chart for reference, and practice writing or speaking sample sentences that incorporate these adjectives. Encourage English language learners to use these adjectives in their daily spoken language so that they become part of their active vocabulary.