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Body Image - Key Stage 3 & 4


'Be Real' Body Confidence Campaign and Resources

Campaigning to chance attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.

View the resources. 

Read about the campaign.



Body Image and Advertising

Teaching resources and lesson plans on body image by MediaSmart. The website also provides pages for young people, supporters, parents and careres.

Media Smart Parent Guide

Media Smart Body Image and Advertising - Teachers' Notes

Compilation of TV adverts on MediaSmart UK's YouTube playlist

If you wish to use the case studies, please ensure that your school or educational institution has a valid Educational Recording Agency licence.



Body Image in a Digital World

Encourage students to explore what body image is, how social media can impact it and ways to reduce stress or anxiety caused by online pressures.

Body image lesson plan pack

Using peer-to-peer discussion and activities, students discuss the impact of social media on body image and identify techniques for minimising stress that may arise from negative body image.

Lesson plan includes:

  • Accompanying PowerPoint for use in class
  • Starter activities – carry out a baseline assessment of students' prior knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Core peer-to-peer activities, plenaries and exciting extension ideas
  • 2 films to support the activities – one featuring opinions from students and another featuring photographer and Instagrammer Tobi Shinobi

View and download the KS3-KS4 lesson plan.



Eating Disorders - Advice for Teachers from the PSHE Association 

Many people who experience eating disorders develop them during adolescence or even earlier. This means you may have a pupil in your class who currently has an eating disorder, or who may develop one in future. By talking about eating disorders in a PSHE lesson, you can both help pupils to recognise the signs of disordered eating, and encourage them to seek help.

There are a number of steps you can take to make sure that you teach about eating disorders in a way which is safe for pupils who may be at risk of developing an eating disorder or already suffer from one. There are a few things that you need to be aware of to ensure your pupils’ wellbeing. These resources should help you do so:


Challenging Misconceptions

In the lesson, it’s a good idea to challenge common misconceptions that pupils might have. This can be a good way of dispelling stigma around eating disorders, helping pupils to recognise the signs, and supporting pupils to seek help. These resources should help you to do so:


Supporting Pupils with an Eating Disorder to Seek Help

Lessons on eating disorders should aim to encourage pupils to seek help and signpost them to ways of doing so. This increases the chances of a pupil disclosing an eating disorder to a member of staff, and you’ll need to be ready to manage the situation. These resources should help you to do so:

Teachers can make a real difference to the lives of pupils who are suffering from an eating disorder, helping them on the road to recovery, by supporting friends or those who are at risk. 



Educator Toolkit on Eating Disorders

An eating disorder themed toolkit for educators by the National Eating Disorder Association.

View and download the toolkit here.



Key Standards in Teaching About Body Image

Teacher Guidance by the PSHE Association for effective teaching and learning about body image. 



Male Body Image 

Media Smart and First News have come together to create the Boys’ Biggest Conversation – a campaign to encourage young men, across the UK, to talk about body image and the effect it has on their mental wellbeing.

Although the resource focuses on the representation of men in the media, it is designed for use with students aged 11–14 years of all genders, aiming to broaden the discussion and build understanding of how this issue can affect everyone.

Download the resources here.



'Naked Beach' Body Image Resources for Schools 

Based on research by Dr Keon West at Goldsmith’s University and created in collaboration with Barefaced TV, this lesson for Key Stage 4 uses clips from C4’s ‘Naked Beach’ to promote discussion around body image and representation. 

There are two lessons to choose from, one showing the journey of Darrell, who is struggling to reclaim his love of exercise following injury and weight gain and the other Jolie, who has vitiligo and worries that her lack of body confidence is stopping her from enjoying her life. Each lesson contains two clips from the show, with follow up discussion points/statistics for the class to disseminate and feed-back on. 
Please note: Naked Beach is a family show and was aired before the watershed. Whilst the makers of the programme do not consider nudity to be inherently offensive or sexual, participants’ genitals were covered and their bodies painted. The aim of the programme was to showcase rarely seen or celebrated aspects of the human form such as: range of body types, range of skin colours, disability, vitiligo and stretch marks.

View and download the lesson plans here.



Newsround Programme on Body Image 

Being Me the programme by Newsround explores what children and young people think about their own body image.



Self-Esteem Project 

Dove's Self Esteem Project is a campaign to combat self esteem and body image issues among young girls. Click here to see how you can get involved.

Click here to view Dove's Confident Me teacher workshop resources. It is a 45-60 minute session that addresses key topics including media influence, peer pressure and self esteem. Students learn through class discussion, small group activities, videos and activity worksheets.

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.

Dove have also produced training videos for teachers to support the delivery of the Confident Me workshop, which include:

  • Introduction to body confidence
  • Workshop lesson plan & material
  • Workshop content overview
  • How to create the right environment
  • When to adapt the lesson plan
  • Tips for challenging questions





Articles of Interest

Guide to What A 'Normal' Vulva Looks Like - BBC News   

Teenage girls are being directed to a new online reference tool that helps them check if their vulva looks normal. Available on the sexual health charity Brook website, the resource gives visual examples and advice on how female genitals change in puberty.


Jamie Oliver Bans Daughter, 14, from Posting Selfies 

TV chef Jamie Oliver has said he has banned his 14-year-old daughter from sharing selfies, describing them as the unhealthy "sugar of social media". "We ban Daisy from doing selfies and mainly she doesn't, but a couple slip up," the father-of-five told the Lifestyle News hound. Oliver, 42, says he is among the first generation of parents learning to deal with children sharing photos online. He and wife Jools regularly post family photos on their own Instagram pages. But Oliver, a prominent campaigner for healthy eating, described teenage girls' use of Instagram as "frightening".


Unilever to Use 'Less Sexist' Ads

Adverts showing women unable to resist the lure of chocolate, slaving in the kitchen and going giggly at the sight of a man will be no more if consumer goods giant Unilever has its way. The firm, behind more than 400 brands from Ben & Jerry's ice-cream to Dove soap, has pledged to remove sexist stereotypes from its own ads and called on rivals to follow suit.


What the 'Perfect' Body Looks Like in 18 Different Countries

Female graphic designers from around the world were given the same photo and asked to tweak the image so that the model met the beauty standards of their country. "The goal of this project is to better understand potentially  unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world.” 

Tagged under: body image, cancer, self esteem, media, hate crime, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, female health

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