My Body, Myself 

The Dove Self Esteem Project (DSEP) has done a great public service in creating resources for body image education in 50 countries:

Our mission is to ensure that the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look— helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.

We’ve partnered with leading experts in the fields of psychology, health, and body image to create a program of evidence-based resources, including parenting advice, to help young people form healthy friendships, overcome body image issues, and be their best selves.

DSEP developed the Confident Me evidence-based body image lessons specifically for teachers and schools. These lessons are free, downloadable tools, designed to allow teachers and schools to run body confidence workshops in their classrooms.

Body image workshops

The workshops allow teachers and students to explore the impact that "image ideals" in the media have on young people’s self-esteem. The workshops explore how society and professional & social media promote an unrealistic “ideal” body. The workshops provide strategies to protect and build self-confidence.

There are two versions of Confident Me: a 5-Session workshop and Single Session workshop. The 5-Session workshop is created to be delivered in five 50 minutes classes and covers more material in greater depth. It is directed at a middle school audience where these lessons may be the kids’ first introduction to a body image discussion. 

The Single Session workshop is created to spend one 50 minute class on the material. This is good for older kids who can keep up with a faster pace. The Single Session workshop is a good refresher class for kids who have had some body image discussion before.

The material created to be self-explanatory; teachers don’t need training on it. The Confident Me website has worthwhile 3 minute videos for teachers.

Reseach has verified what make sense to everyone: the more the kids are exposed to the material, the better it sticks. I suggest even for high school, you plan to spend 2 class periods on it, so the material will stick better.  For middle school, it is recommended to spend 5 class periods on it,  the entire 5-Session workshop.

Resources

Both workshops give you downloadable documents:

  1. 1.     Workshop Teacher Guide: Teacher's lesson plan
  2. 2.     Student Presentation: Slides for use in class
  3. 3.     Student Activity Sheets: Handouts for class 

 

The 5-Session workshop covers:

  1. Appearance Ideals - "image ideals" we see in personal and professional media
  2. Media Messages --  media literacy lesson
  3. Confronting Comparisons -- comparing our appearance to other people's appearance is not a good idea
  4. Banish Body Talk -- how the words and language we use around appearance affect people
  5. Be the Change -- how the culture can be "size-ist" and how it can give anti-fat messages  

 Single Session workshop covers:

  1. Appearance Ideals
  2. Appearance Pressures
  3. Professional and Personal Media
  4. How can images be manipulated: before and after 
  5. Decoding media messages
  6. Personal and Social Media

My suggestions for how to use the 5-Session Confident Me in a middle school setting

These resources are easy to understand and easy to use. I found they prompted good discussion, which is a great feature of this curriculum which has the kids learn by asking them questions.

I recommend that you teach the resources as given on the US site, except for Workshop 1. The US version goes into a  discussion of Analyzing Influences that my students found a bit confusing.  I think the material works well without it, so I am sending you back to the UK version for Workshop 1, where they don't get into that discussion. Take a look and see what you think.

 Feel free to reach out to me with any questions: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..