Music - In the spotlight

`Perfect' media images taken apart

Pupils are to be taught not to believe "unrealistic" images of perfect- looking models and celebrities in newspapers and magazines.

A new online resource for teachers - Media Smart - has been launched in partnership with the Home Office to teach youngsters that images have often been manipulated and do not provide a natural image of beauty.

The aim is to teach children that they should not base their ideas of "beauty" on TV and advertising, nor let these affect their confidence or their view of their own bodies.

The media literacy tool is made up of an hour-long lesson, but it is hoped teachers will use it as the basis for further discussion, including debates about self-esteem, body concerns and perceptions of beauty.

Children are also given the opportunity to see examples of the way images are altered by airbrushing and other forms of digital manipulation. The creators of the resource hope it will boost young people's ability to assess media images more critically.

The lesson is free to download from

What else?

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