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“The Skin You’re In” educates girls about eating disorders and how to have a positive body image

Subject:

P.E. & Health  

Grades:

3, 4, 5, 6  

Title – The Skin You’re In – the basics of body image, the fashion industry and eating disorders
By – Claire M
Primary Subject - PE & Health
Secondary Subject - 
Grade Level – 3-6th grade girls

Objective:

    To educate girls about the basics of eating disorders and how to have a positive body image. This will help prevent eating disorders before they develop. Girls will see how the fashion industry warps models or pressures them into desiring unrealistic looks, which can lead to developing eating disorders.

Materials:

  • a white board
  • three laptops or a projector
  • three pieces of poster paper
  • markers

Procedures: Day 1

      1. On the white board write “Beauty is:” and have the class brainstorm what they think the media tells us beauty is. (10-15 minutes)
      2. Have them watch the Dove movie “Evolution” on the projector or on laptops. (2-3 minutes)
      3. Split students into three groups.
      4. On the poster paper, have them brainstorm all of the changes the industry made to the model. (15 minutes)
      5. Share the posters with the class. (10 minutes)
      6. Put the posters up around room, so students remember how much the media alters our perception of beauty.
      7. Ask what they think an average model weighs and how tall an average model is.
        Answer: The average model is 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighs 98 pounds.
      8. Ask what they think the weight and height of the average woman is.
        Answer: The average woman is 160 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches tall.
      9. For older classes, give the following homework:
        • (Optional) Possibly watch the Dove movie “Onslaught.” You should screen it beforehand for inappropriate images.
        • Then brainstorm how many advertisements and billboards they see every day, related to changing your body.
        • Look in magazines for examples of these “change your body” ads. Tell them to bring one in to share with the class.

Day 2

    1. Quickly review what happened last class. (5 minutes)
    2. Have kids share their homework, how many “change your body” ads they saw and the advertisement that had the change your body message. (15-20 minutes, depending on class size)
    3. Ask if anyone knows what an eating disorder is.
    4. Explain: eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that develop when a person has low self-esteem or a negative body image. They are most common in girls from the ages of 12 to 16. There are three main kinds: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. (5-10 minutes)
    5. Split students into three groups.
    6. Give each group an eating disorder to read facts about. Include a basic description about each type, such as: (10-15 minutes)
      • Anorexia is when a person is so scared of being fat, they starve themselves to get to “their” ideal body size.
      • Anorexics may feel cold all of the time and loose large amounts of weight.
      • Bulimia is when a person goes through cycles of bingeing and purging. Bingeing is eating a lot of food in a short amount of time. Purging is when they try to get rid of the food by vomiting, using laxatives, or excessive exercise.
      • A bulimic’s teeth may turn a yellow or clear color from the stomach acid constantly in their mouth or they might exercise much too often.
      • Binge eaters feel out of control. They binge on food – eat a lot of food in a short amount of time.
      • Binge eater’s weight may constantly change, and they may only eat in private.
    7. Have the groups read their facts to the class so all students understand the basics of eating disorders. (10 minutes)
    8. Show Dove movie – “Amy.” (2-3 minutes)
    9. Explain that your body image is not always correct. Anorexics think they are overweight, when really they are severely under weight. (5 minutes)
    10. Discuss how to keep a positive body image – remind yourself of the posters you made on day one, never fall for the media’s pressure to look like the airbrushed models, NEVER put yourself down, and remember that everyone’s body is meant to be the way it is , and not to try to change that. (10-15 minutes)
    11. Put this on a poster and hang on the wall to remind students how to keep a positive body image. (5-10 minutes)

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