Today on some informal lunchtime schools work we went into the local high school to talk to the pupils about "body image" and what promotes and what doesn't promote a positive body image; paying particular attention to the media and the pressures on young people today to achieve the "perfect" body. I was inspired to make a poster of images from celebrity magazines, most of which were known to be photoshopped, and set these images in contrast to the Bible's definition of beauty from 1 Peter 3 - 3:4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's eyes".
Now, the preparation of this activity did involve a fairly late night of turning my house upside down for magazines trying to find images I could use for the poster. After much searching I located a big stack of "Empire" magazines I had completely forgot I had (and couldnt remember why I was keeping) ...Mum always said they'd never get used, but look at them now! Haa! And so there I was on the dining room table with a stack of magazines and a pair of scissors, cutting out images of celebrities like I was 13 again. After a while my younger sisters also felt the need to "help" me out, although it led to the room becoming more of a library then the collage production unit I had originally imagined. After a while of me cutting the images out and my sisters ogling over Benedict Cumberbatch I was done and ready to make the poster. The next day I began the rampage of glue that eventually led to the finished product pictured above and it was safe to say I was quite please with myself. All that was left to do was to print out the bible scripture from 1 Peter, a simple enough task... but nope! like much other technology that surrounds my life it refused to play ball and the task of printing out a simple line of scripture became one that seemed on par with Frodo's quest to "simply" walk into Mordor! After putting all my technological knowledge to use (turning if off and on again) had failed there was only one thing left to do... go against all my natural instincts as a man and ask for help. Enter Wendy, who then simply pointed out that the printed works a lot more effectively when its plugged into the laptop.... And so once again I was put in my place as the intern. And so after the three hours spent to print out one line of scripture had passed the poster was complete and ready to go into the school. Once we had gotten to the school we set up in the sun-trap garden outside the 6th form area as there were quite a few having lunch. Once we had been there few moments we noticed people looking and chatting amongst themselves about the poster and so with a combination of Wendy's flamboyancy and my enthusiasm for the topic (and a little pride in the artwork id made) we approached the little collectives of students that had formed to speak about the topic of body image, photoshop and the medias influence on society. After we had spoken to the groups we finished the discussions with the question "Would you rather society judge beauty by the images or these words from the bible?" it was a question most found easy to answer, straight away the majority said "the words" but a few did point out that even though we would all rather been seen for who we are, we still live in a society where social media, tv, film and fashion rule our perceptions on how we see the world.
Written by Kieran :)
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