Find a partner. With your partner write down what you think it means to like and accept your body
In order to talk about liking and accepting your body, you need to know what body image means and be able to identify why having a positive body image is important.
Body Image Body Image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. Positive Body Image is having a vision of your body that is healthy and realistic. It is appreciating and valuing your natural shape and understanding that it’s the whole person that’s important—not just his or her physical appearance.
Media, culture, family and friends can all influence how you feel about your body.
One thing that has a major influence on body image is the media. Media includes magazines, TV, movies, videos and video games.
Let’s create a list of images and messages people receive from the media that define a “perfect” male body and a “perfect” female body. What qualities or characteristics does the media promote as “perfect” for men and women?
The media tells us that perfect male and female bodies have certain characteristics Males Tall Broad shoulders Muscles White teeth Right amount of chest hair Females Big breasts Small waist Big lips White teeth Beautiful hair
How realistic is it for someone to have the “perfect” body you just described on this list?
It’s not very realistic. In fact, less than 5% of the population has the genes and body chemistry that results in a body type like this. Even though people may try very hard to have a “perfect” body, most bodies are not meant to be that way.
It’s like trying to make your size 9 foot fit into a size 7 shoe. It can’t be done without drastic, unnatural and unhealthy actions!
Get into groups of 4. Task Master: Makes sure everyone stays on task. Writer: Writes down the group member responses. Leader: Makes sure everyone in the group participates. Reporter: Reports the group answers to the class.
Now that you know something about body image and the media, you are going to look at things you can do to advocate against media messages that portray an unrealistic “perfect” body.
Some things you can do to advocate against media messages that portray the unrealistic “perfect” body: Write letters to advertisers you think are sending positive, inspiring messages that recognize and celebrate the diversity of human body shapes and sizes. Compliment their courage. Tear out and throw away magazine advertisements that glorify the “perfect” body.
Some things you can do to advocate against media messages that portray the unrealistic “perfect” body: Teach your friends about the media’s unrealistic portrayal of the “perfect” body. Avoid buying products from companies that consistently use “perfect” bodies to get you to buy their products.
Turn to your “Steps to a Positive Body Image” sheet. Let’s look at some simple ideas that can help you keep a good and healthy attitude about your body.
Circle 2 or 3 steps you intend to use in the future to develop a more positive body image.