Defining Power House: Body Talk


We live in a culture where a girl can end up with shame about, or fear for, her body, a culture of criticism, objectification, “locker-room” talk - and in the extreme - gender-based violence.  

No matter who you are or how you identify as a female, the media and society tell you a perfect girl or woman is “skinny, white, blond hair, blue eyes, sexy but innocent, childlike, and submissive." With so many contradictory messages, it’s no wonder that a girl often choose behaviors that are harmful to or completely disconnected from her body. This activity opens the door to media literacy and how the media influences standards of beauty and self-image.

Conversation Tips:

If strong emotions about body image come up for her during the conversation, don’t downplay these. Don’t say things like “you’re being hard on yourself”. Instead, listen and let her express her feelings. If she talks about being strong in her body, praise her for the effort that goes in to playing sports or eating healthy. And don’t make body shaming comments about yourself. Accept compliments about your own body size and – this is important – express that satisfaction within earshot.  


  • Develop a deeper understanding of how the media influences standards of beauty and self-image.
  • Develop a fresh understanding of the messages a girl values about beauty and self-image for a girl

Do This Together:

1.  Watch the Evolution of a Model commercial with a girl. Talk about what you saw in the video: