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Classes for girls that will help  make the right choice by saying "NO"

      This session is designed to raise young women's awareness of the purpose and power of advertising to help them make healthy choices and mobilize their inner strength. Today's younger generation is the most knowledgeable and their purchasing power is greater than ever before. Today's youth have the opportunity to change and even stop this ongoing hunt for new consumer groups. The girls' session is both practical and informative, in which the project's factual information on topics such as alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, doping and drugs distributed over the Internet is supported by interactive discussion exercises and suggestions for organizing group activities. This manual can be used in schools, youth recreation centers, public organizations, youth clinics, antenatal clinics and workplaces.

     Classes based on the WOCAD (Women's Organizations Committee on Alcohol and Drug Issues) project "Advertising directed at girls", which was launched in 2008 to promote the health and lifestyle of girls. The mastermind behind this project, former model Ruth Arvidsson, prepared the information blocks that formed the basis of these sessions. She spoke about her work at lectures, conferences and seminars held both in Sweden and abroad. And the methodological component of this manual was prepared in collaboration with Jeanette Roos, lecturer in aesthetic education in the learning process at the University of Söderthorns, who has been working with WOCAD for many years.

Lesson #1 



  Equipment: books, magazines and photos from the Internet depicting women and girls in different situations.     Reproductions of paintings from different historical eras with female portraits, images of women from other cultures, photos of modern women. Participants may also bring their own magazines and printouts from the websites they visit to the meeting.


  1. Introduction (Questions can be written on the board or handed out to each participant individually).

  •   What is considered to be the ideal of beauty in our time?

  •   What, according to media standards, should be the ideal body?

  • Can we change our bodies?

  •   Do we need to change our bodies?

  •   What body is considered beautiful enough?

  • Who decides whether the degree of beauty of the body is sufficient?

  • How does our perception of the ideal of beauty affect us?

"Name circle"

Ask each girl to introduce herself and say a few words about why she thinks there are so many body-altering drugs available today.


It is possible to change both our appearance and our inner world. The latter entails a change in the perception of both oneself and the world around.

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    Lay out 3 sheets of paper on the floor with the words "Yes", "No" and "Maybe". After each statement uttered by the leader, the participants make a decision and stand on the sheet that corresponds to their opinion.

  • Many girls are not satisfied with their appearance

  • Appearance doesn't matter

  • Most girls are happy with their weight

  • Most girls want to lose weight

  • Most guys want to lose weight

  • Weight loss drugs are easy to get

  • You can be beautiful on the inside

  • It's good to have plastic surgery

  • Muscle building is good for health

  • It is normal to use doping drugs for a short time

  • Train and work on yourself - the process is entertaining


     Now we will consider what is considered to be the ideal of beauty today, and how the female body is positioned in the media today. Get out the magazines and photos you brought with you. Cut out images of women from there and make a collage. You can work both in a group and individually.

  Questions for reflection

  1. How are ideal female bodies portrayed in the media? Why are they portrayed the way they are? Who decides that it must be so? 

How have ideals changed?
female beauty

   2. In what setting do the media usually portray women?  

   3. How are the standards of beauty determined? How are mass culture, fashion and beauty interrelated at the present time?

    4. What does it mean to be healthy?  

    5. Build up the discussion by drawing the group's attention to how ideas about the ideal female body have changed over the centuries. Look at ideal bodies and fashion trends in previous centuries. (Appendix 1) Have they changed since then?  

    6. Why do you think they have changed? What do you think they will be like in the future?

   It should be remembered that mass culture has no traditions. The tastes that mass culture expresses and serves are so fleeting that traditions do not have time to form. 
    It is known that the number of girls and women who use doping for fitness and drugs for weight loss is growing all the time, despite the fact that these drugs are harmful to health. Who decides what beauty is? To whom is this message addressed? Whose images are we trying to imitate? Do we want to change ourselves, or are we just trying to live up to the ideal that the outside world imposes on us? How can we resist being forced into a certain ideal of beauty by the media?

     "4 corners"
    What do we need to be able to resist the urge to change ourselves through the use of dangerous drugs?
    Open corner / other option  

Questions for reflection
What can we do together to help each other' to abandon the ideals of beauty that are being imposed on us? What does our body really need?

     "Collage 2"
   Remake collage 1 to your liking. Change pictures/photos as you see fit. Use colored pencils and paints.
    Where do ideals of beauty come from? Who decides what they should be? What role do we play in creating these ideals? What would happen if there were no ideals and every person would look the way he wants? What can we do to make it so?

4.     Summarizing.
     Final circle
    How can we support each other in terms of self-development? What can you do? What kind of support do you think can help you?

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