Small Victories logo Dept of Family & Consumer Science logo Learner objective
What you need
Lesson Content
[html] [pdf]
Press Release [Word]
•Evaluation [Word]
Mind Over Magazines

Lesson Plan [pdf]

Learner objectives

As a result of this presentation, participants will:

  • Recognize that the media create unrealistic body images
  • Develop skills to spot unrealistic body images and to counter the negative and unhealthy attitudes and behaviors encouraged by these unrealistic images


What you need
  • Handouts
  • Video:  Behind Closed Doors IV with Joan Lunden
    • Note - ordering information:  Contact Remuda Ranch foundation, P.O. Box 399, Wickenburg, AZ 85358; 928-684-4292.  Current cost is $10.75, including shipping and handling.
  • TV-VCR
  • Props:  Copies of popular magazines - enough for small groups of 2-4 people to have 1-2 copies per group


This lesson was developed for use with adults.  If you use it with youth, be sure to preview the video, review the lesson plan, and make any adjustments you think necessary for a younger audience.


Time Content/Suggestions Learning Reinforcer
10 min. Introduce and show the video.

Ask for reactions to the video and facilitate any discussion.

VideoBehind Closed Doors
10-15 min. Distribute handouts and ask the audience to work in groups of 2-4, depending on the size of the total group and room set-up.  Let each group choose 1-2 magazines to discuss amongst their members.  Groups should identify a spokesperson.

Ask groups to work through section #1 in the handout - the magazine overall.  Then facilitate follow-up group sharing and discussion.  Ask if others besides the spokesperson have anything to add.

Handout:  "Mind Over Magazines"

Props:  Popular magazines

10-15 min. Ask groups to work through section #2 in the handout - a specific picture or image.  Then facilitate follow-up group sharing and discussion.  Ask if others besides the spokesperson have anything to add.  
5-10 min. Facilitate a discussion of section #3:  What actions to take if you want to counter the negative and unhealthy attitudes and behaviors encourage by unrealistic body images.  Possible ideas to share if participants have trouble getting started:
  • Ask your doctor, dentist, etc., to avoid display of problematic magazines or at least offer a selection that includes real people who reflect a range of body sizes and types and that illustrate enjoyment of active living and pleasurable and healthful eating.
  • As you stand in line at the grocery store, analyze the cover images in terms of what has been done to make them look "perfect."
  • Start discussions about unrealistic body images with other people - at work during breaks, with family during meal times, etc.  Include ideas about what individuals and organizations can do to counter these images.
  • Write a letter to the editor of the local paper.  Include praise of positive, realistic images in the local media as well as point out negative body images in popular magazines.
5 min. Questions/wrap-up/evaluation

Reinforce the bottom lineIt's up to each of us to resist and speak out about the power of unreal media images and the harmful pressure these images can put on people of all ages.

Evaluation form


Developed by Suzy Pelican and Christine Pasley for Small Victories, a mini-lesson series promoting positive food, physical activity, and body image attitudes and behaviors.  Small Victories reflects the mission and principles of WIN Wyoming, a multi-agency, multi-state network that promotes healthy lifestyles instead of a specific body size, shape, or weight.  WIN Wyoming is coordinated through Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.  0203; slightly revised 0706
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Glen Whipple, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.  Persons seeking admission, employment, or access to program of the University of Wyoming Shall be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact their local UW CES Office.  To file a complaint, write the UW Employment Practices/Affirmative Action Office, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3434, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3434.  The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate.
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Updated on 10/20/2006