Authors as Published

Elena Serrano, Associate Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. (

Age  Children 7-10X Children 11-14  Mixed AgesVirginia Standards of Learning
English 3.1, 3.2, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.3, 8.3
Health 3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 4.7, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4, 7.3, 8.4  
SettingX   Classroom    CampX     Either
Location   OutsideX Indoors     Either

Project Skill: Describing media images of men and women, discussing how we view our bodies

Success Indicators: As a result of this activity, children will be able to:

  • differentiate between body sizes portrayed in “media” and in “real” life
  • express a positive attitude and respect towards different-sized and shaped persons, including one’s own body
  • learn that thinness does not necessarily equate with “healthy”

Life Skills: Accepting differences, Character, Self-esteem

Preparation Time: Bring DVD. Review discussion questions.


  • Computer with video and LCD projector, or DVD player
  • Looking at Looks (VCE publication 348-245)
  • How Do YOU See Yourself? (VCE publication 348-254)
  • Body Talk DVD (grades 4-6)


  1. Hand out How Do YOU See Yourself? to the class before showing the video. Ask them to circle the size they think best represents them. Then have them put a star above the figure that they consider “ideal.”
  2. Show the Body Talk DVD. You don’t have to show the whole video.
  3. Go over the discussion questions.
  4. Distribute the Looking at Looks handout. Have students share their reactions to the statements.


  • Give students a few minutes to absorb the video and respond to questions.


  • What did the individuals in the video say that you agreed with? Disagreed with?
  • How did it feel to hear what they were saying?


  • What were some common thoughts you heard?
  • Why is it important for other people to know how other kids your age feel?
  • What are some of our ideals about “looks”?
  • How have you changed your ideas about your own size as a result of this activity?


  • What are some ways you can feel good about your size and looks?


  • Where else in your life is body image or appearance an important factor
Be positive about your body and yourself.
You can’t change your height and frame, but you can change your attitude.


This publication was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low incomes. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your local county or city Department of Social Services (phone listed under city/county government).  For help finding a local number, call toll-free: 1-800-552-3431 (M-F 8:15-5:00, except holidays).  By calling your local DSS office, you can get other useful information about services.  
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, disability, or political beliefs.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
This publication was partially funded by the Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program, USDA, CSREES.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

December 14, 2011