Media Literacy

Media literacy means we are able to understand the information we encounter in our daily lives and respond appropriately.

It is important to teach students that:

  • the physical images presented in the media and on social media are not reality,
  • body shapes and sizes are altered
  • blemishes, freckles, lines, and wrinkles are edited out, and 
  • filters are applied so that images reflect an idealized version of someone’s appearance

Media has always placed pressure on students to conform to beauty and appearance ideals. The addition of social media has created an even more profound effect on students’ body image, self-esteem and confidence.

Guide an open discussion with  students. Ask their opinions about the ways people modify their own appearance online – why do people do this? What do they gain, and from whom?

Encourage students to look at media messages in a critical way. Help them see that these images are unrealistic and unnatural.