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Avoiding ‘summer body’ hang-ups

As the summer term rolls to an end, both teachers and pupils alike will find themselves longing for the summer holidays. With media pressure to get ‘beach body’ ready, the anticipation of a long summer ahead can create some body anxieties for both boys and girls. The pressure to achieve these unrealistic goals can leave some young people feeling inadequate over their appearance, believing that they do not match up to the ideals they see every day on television and on social media.

Before breaking up for the summer holidays, you may want to take a moment to address these issues with your pupils. 

3 simple steps to take

The images in magazines and on social media are often distorted to make the subject conform to a perceived ideal. It’s important to help pupils to develop a critical eye.

  1. Show pupils some images from magazines and social media and ask them to identify how the image may have been altered.
  2. Discuss the lengths stylists, make-up artists and photographers go to make a subject of a photo look this way. What do pupils think about this?
  3. Ask pupils to bring in examples of excessive image distortion, they may find these amusing whilst learning a valuable lesson.

Register for FREE teaching resources to deliver the single session 45-minute workshop in your school.

The second session of the free Confident Me workshop from the Dove Self-Esteem Project looks at how students can become savvy, critical media consumers (and producers) by investigating body image and the media and how images of people in advertising and social media are manipulated and often drastically altered to reflect appearance ideals.

Teachers can download all five PSHE sessions or the one-off single session workshop here.

Support for parents

Download the free Uniquely Me parent guide to hand out to your pupils and parents.


Uniquely Me parent guide.pdf

This downloadable pdf contains expert advice from Dove Self-Esteem Project global experts from the fields of psychology, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders and media representation to create a resource for parents that is focused on advice and action.

Parent Zone is working with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help boost UK pupils' body confidence through its PSHE Association-approved in-school workshops. Find out more about the full programme here. 

Main image: Pixabay