Objective: Student will gain a realistic and positive image of himself
by understanding the factors that the media manipulates to define
a "Madison Avenue" sense of beauty.
Language Arts Standards: Listening, Reading Writing
Introduction: There exists in our country an way of thinking that
is designed to manipulate of feelings and behaviors. The teacher
may wish to have the students do a simple survey of the colors of
food or cleaning products in their home. One survey might be to
compare bright verses dull colors. A more complicated survey would
be to make observations about which colors are predominately used
The discussion can lead further into comparing images of people
used in advertising. Have the students bring in magazines from home
(or you bring one). Analyze the images that are used to sell the
products. Identify race, gender, exposure of skin, colors of clothes,
etc. (You may want to look at theme colors, such as "near"
red, white and blue, which elicits patriotism.)
The students should discuss and write an essay about the way media
defines our sense of beauty. What are the factors used by the media?
Are there types of people that are used more often to sell products?
Is that representative of the people the students see in the real
Sample Outline of essay:
I. Introduction: Type of Media Selected
II. Patterns seen by student in the use of body images
III. Interpretation of the Media's Use of these images, i.e. defining
beauty and associating it with a product.
IV. Student's perception to how these "ideal people" relate
to his "real" world.
V. Conclusion and summary.
Extentions: See "Labels" lesson from Phil McGraw, Ph.D.