You are here

The Dove Self-Esteem Project: Media Messages

Parent Zone has partnered with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to help you in your work with young people.

Low self-esteem can affect everything, from school work to how you socialise with others. We are making available free expert resources accredited by the PSHE Association for teachers and parents to help young people build confidence and feel good about themselves

Sign up to run your own in-school self-esteem workshop for your pupils and download our free teacher resources

Already signed up? Log in and go straight to the resources

This week's featured resource: 

Confident Me, Session 2: Media Messages

(This is the second part of a 5-session workshop)

Time: 45 minutes

In this session, students will learn to become savvy, critical media consumers and producers by investigating body image and the media and how images of people in social media and professional media (such as advertising) are manipulated and often drastically altered to reflect appearance ideals.

By the end of the session, students will have understood that it is pointless to compare themselves to images in media because the images often promote appearance ideals in order to sell up products and services.

Possible questions to ask

  • What do we mean by media?
  • How can images be manipulated?
  • How would it feel to have your image manipulated?
  • What is the impact of images and messages on social media?

Support materials

Film: Evolution

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, students will:

  • Build media literacy, exploring how images and messages, from advertising to cinema and social media, are often manipulations of the truth.

  • Understand that it is pointless to compare themselves to images in media because the images often promote appearance ideals in order to sell us products and services.

  • Generate ways they can challenge and reject media images and messages that promote appearance ideals.

The programme has been developed to support the school curricula. In England and Wales, Key stage 3 outcomes include identifying personal strengths, recognising how personal qualities are evaluated by others, awareness of healthy eating, and media portrayal of body image. For those following the Scottish CfE 3rd level health and wellbeing programme, it covers emotional, social and physical wellbeing, planning for choices and changes, and the impact of popular culture and the media.

This is the second part of a 5-session workshop. These resources have been evaluated by the Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England. It showed that students who participate in Dove Confident Me experience improved self-esteem, have a more positive self- image, and feel more confident to participate in social and academic activities.

You can also download a single session Confident Me workshop

The 45-60-minute workshop addresses key topics including media influence, peer pressure and strategies for promoting body image and self-esteem. Students learn through class discussion, small-group activities, videos and activity worksheets.

If you have more time, the subjects are also covered in a 5-session workshop.

Sign up for your FREE Dove Self-Esteem in-school workshop resources

For parents

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

PDF iconUniquely 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.

Check out our Dove Self-Esteem Project resources for parents on our sister site, Parent Info.

Image: Rawpixel/Shutterstock

Dove Self-Esteem Project: Confront comarisons >