Practical Body Image Activities for Students

Published: Mar 11, 2024
Edited by: Team TB

Woman jumping in water

© Image by Tim Mossholder

People often take our bodies for granted. They do not pay any attention to their bodies unless some part of it is aching. Moreover, many youngsters find numerous imperfections in their bodies when looking at impressive pictures of celebrities and influencers online. However, treating your body with love and respect is crucial to well-being. Young people should get a culture and education on how to avoid self-diminishing thoughts. Body image activities can help them look at their bodies from a different perspective.

Investing in positive body image activities can significantly impact students’ lives, empowering them to embrace their individuality and thrive in a world often fixated on unrealistic beauty standards. They can learn to take care of their bodies by engaging in physical activities when they feel energetic and using self-massage techniques to relax. Let’s look at some of the crucial benefits of body image activities for students.

Benefits of Body Image Activity

Improved critical thinking skills

Students become more critical thinkers by deconstructing media messages and challenging unrealistic beauty standards. Body image activities for high school students help them analyze the information they already have about their appearance. They learn to question social norms and make informed choices about their health. In addition, boosting critical thinking skills leads to better grades, especially in writing assignments like essays. It is also possible to hire a qualified essay writer urgently at paper writing service FastEssay to learn new writing techniques and improve writing skills. All in all, a critical analysis of what a healthy body image means today is beneficial.

Improved self-esteem and confidence

Appreciating their bodies helps college students develop a more positive self-image, which leads to increased confidence and self-worth. Participating in activities that enhance a positive body image can help students get rid of negative self-talk and decrease anxiety in terms of their appearance. It is important to learn healthy coping mechanisms that can effectively manage body dissatisfaction and build resilience against societal pressures. Moreover, a positive body image encourages healthy lifestyle choices, fostering a more balanced relationship with food and exercise.

Acceptance and strong relationships

Body image activities create a space for open discussions about diverse body types and experiences. They foster empathy and understanding, promoting tolerance and inclusivity towards others. Such activities can create a sense of belonging as students share their experiences and support each other. Using different exercises strengthens relationships and fosters open communication about body image concerns.

15 Body Image Activities for High School Students

Now, it’s time to move to the specific activities that can help students experience all of the benefits mentioned above.

Activities that help focus on appreciation and acceptance

Gratitude wall

Students anonymously write things they appreciate about their bodies, big or small. It can be anything from “I love my smile” to “My legs are so strong for soccer!”

Body map collage

Students take different magazines and cut out images or words representing positive qualities they associate with different parts of their bodies. Then, they can create a collage showcasing their unique strengths and beauty.

Compliment chain

It’s a compliment chain in which students write kind things about their neighbor on a piece of paper, fold it, and pass it on. Writing activities like this one foster appreciation for diversity and body positivity.

“Thank you, body” letter

Students write a letter to their body, thanking it for all it does for them. This fun wellness exercise reinforces gratitude and helps acknowledge the amazing things their bodies are capable of.

Activities that challenge media messages

Deconstructing ads

Students analyze magazine or advertising images together, identifying unrealistic beauty standards and discussing how they might affect self-image. The next step is for them to create alternative ads celebrating diverse body types and abilities. This exercise is all about body activism and acknowledging the rare beauty of each individual’s uniqueness.

Social media challenge

Students take a break from social media for a set period and reflect on how it impacts their body image. They discuss alternatives for social media use that promote self-acceptance and positive body image. Most probably, staying away from the unrealistic images of perfect bodies promoted on social media will give them a chance to notice the real beauty in themselves and their friends.

Activities that promote creative expression

Body movement and self-love

It’s a guided meditation or movement activity focusing on appreciating and connecting with different body parts. It can involve gentle stretching, rhythmic movement, or simply listening to the body’s sensations.

Blind self-portraits

Students in pairs describe their partner’s physical features to each other. Then, each student draws a portrait of their partner based on the description, without seeing them. This promotes body acceptance by focusing on inner qualities and individual perspectives.

“My body is a…” metaphor

Students write a poem or short story using a metaphor to describe their body. This activity encourages creative expression and helps them explore their relationships with their bodies. While it might be challenging to describe their physical appearance using adjectives, metaphors will help them turn on their creative skills.

“Strong and beautiful” photo shoot

A photography session where students capture themselves doing activities they love, wearing clothes they feel confident in. It is a celebration of strength, beauty, and diversity in the photos. It can also be a study of their self-acceptance.

“Body positive campaign” project

Students design a campaign promoting body positivity within their school or community. It could involve creating posters, writing blog posts, organizing events, or raising awareness about body image issues.

Activities that explore identities and representation

“Who am I?” collage

Students create a collage representing their multiple identities (e.g., cultural, athletic, artistic). They can use images, words, and symbols that reflect their unique self and challenge traditional beauty standards. This practice is a great way to explore and reflect on your inner image.

“Real role models” presentation

Students research individuals who inspire them with their positive body image and achievements. They can then share their findings through presentations, highlighting diverse individuals who break stereotypes and promote acceptance. Luckily, they will find many talented people encouraging body positivity nowadays.

Activities that encourage mindfulness and body awareness

“Body listening” meditation

Students practice a simple meditation focusing on different body sensations, such as breath, heartbeat, and muscle tension. This activity helps them develop mindful awareness and appreciation for their physical presence.

“My strengths in motion” movement activity

A teacher plays music and encourages students to move freely, expressing their strengths and abilities through dance or movement. It is one of the possible ways to help them connect with their bodies in a playful and empowering way.

Summing Up

As you can see, there are many different activities to try out. They are a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about their body images and broaden their self-acceptance horizon.

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