Body image has an impact on how you feel about yourself as a person. It can affect your self-esteem. Discussing body image may be embarrassing or uncomfortable for some students. Be sensitive when addressing this topic.
Students will analyze the influence of culture, media, technology, and other factors on personal health and body image.
- Write an analysis of cultural and media influences that affect body image
- Self-assess how they feel about their own body image and how this affects their self-esteem
- Be able to describe and share how they can help others think about their bodies in positive ways
Journal notebooks, paper, pencil, magazines, computers with an Internet connection, poster board, butcher paper, family pictures
- Ask students if they ever compare themselves to kids at school, or famous people, such as actors, models, etc.
- Tell them their body is likely to change a lot over the next few years. Sometimes they won't feel very comfortable about the changes. Comparing themselves with others is natural but remember that your body image is how you choose to see your body. They need to remember to accept themselves for who they are!
- Have students make a list of 3 things they like about their body. Have them write a paragraph about how they feel about what they have listed, and include 2 ways they will remind themselves of their list whenever they are feeling unsure about their body.
- Remind students that their body image is how they see and imagine their body. Their self-esteem is how much they like themselves as a person. If they see their bodies in a healthy way, are comfortable with their physical appearance, and value themselves as a person, they will have both a positive body image and high self-esteem.
Supporting All Learners
In small groups, have students talk about what real people look like. Have them do the following: Collect pictures of friends and family of different ages, and make a collage with the images. Cut out pictures of people from magazines, and make a separate collage. Compare the 2 collages, and discuss what they see. What can you do to change the way you feel about how a real teen should look?
Have students work in groups or pairs to write a poem or a song advocating positive self-esteem and avoiding dangerous behaviors as a result of poor body image. Encourage students to be as creative as possible, and have volunteers read or perform their work when they are finished.
Ask members of your family if they ever felt bad about their bodies or their appearance. If so, how did they handle it or what did they do about it?
Your best friend is crying because someone told her she was overweight. What suggestions would you give your friend?
Did this lesson help your students to feel better about themselves?
Students answer the following questions in their journals: Have you ever made yourself feel bad by comparing yourself with others? Is it good to compare yourself with others? Why not? What can happen when you compare yourself with others? Can we be too critical of our appearance or body image? What happens when we do that? (ask for examples) Can self-criticism sometimes be good for us? How? (ask for examples) How do we know when we've crossed the line and are being too hard on ourselves?