The girls will explore the concept of the ‘perfect’ female body as presented to them by society.
Organize participants into small groups of mixed ages. Give each group a large piece of paper and drawing materials. If online, each girl can draw individually.
Ask the group to choose a popular fairy-tale princess character they all know, and spend five minutes drawing a picture to show what their character looks like.
Encourage group members to discuss the character’s specific appearance features (e.g. long hair, blue eyes) as they draw. Focus on what the character looks like, rather than what she is wearing.
Bring the groups into one circle and put all the drawings in the middle. On another sheet of paper, write at the top the ‘perfect-looking’ princess?’ Ask the girls to identify similarities in the way each group’s princess look.
If the group gets stuck, help them with questions eg: “are they tall or short?” “What does her body look like?” When the group has finished creating the list, read the features back to them.
Talk through the following questions, encouraging participants to shout out their answers:
- Isn’t it strange how similar all these princesses look? (Yes!)
- Can you think of other places we see this princess look? (Media, TV, toys, celebrities etc)
- In real life, do lots of girls have all these features?
- Is there really only one way to be beautiful?
Explain to the girls that, sometimes, it feels like the world around us is telling us there’s only one way to look beautiful, and we should all try to match that look. The way princesses are shown to us in films and on the television is one way we get sent the message that girls and women should look a certain way. The list they wrote describes the look that’s shown a lot in our society. But there are lots of ways to be beautiful and there’s no such thing as a perfect look.
Cross out the words ‘the perfect-looking princess’ that you wrote at the top of your list and take down the drawings/list.
One large sheet of paper for each group, plus one extra