Teaching every body: A critical analysis of school programming on body image
Body dissatisfaction in children grows into harmful practices as they age. Schools provide education and programming to promote body satisfaction and positive body image in adolescents, but these teachings can be improved. This paper analyzes educational stakeholders’ services on body image through a critical lens while suggesting solutions to improve lessons, courses, and programming. Through braiding internal lessons with external programs, schools can fight against the potential risks of negative body image on adolescents. The literature review highlights the need for early education on body image and the importance of caregiver intervention. A critical review of the teacher and student dynamic introduces the opportunity that teachers as caregivers have to promote positive body image. Next, this paper discusses external intervention programs and the effectiveness of gender-specific programming while remaining critical of a lack of male-focused programs. This paper then discusses how teachers have more opportunities to hold open discussions for students to learn and share. Lastly, this paper describes how physical education classes can be modified to promote feelings of attractiveness and positivity while correcting misconceptions regarding exercising and gender. These changes to school programming will promote positive body image in students and open up classroom conversations.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Angela Giacobbo
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