From Rebecca: I thought it would be wonderful to hear from Trishna, Beauty Within Mauiritus' Director on what her very first day teaching would be like. I was not wrong! Trishna is both articulate and quite inspiring.
She and Myisha worked closely with me to adapt the media literacy curriculum - a topic that is addressed in each Beauty Within workshop worldwide, for a co-ed audience. Ultimately, our goal was to ensure that the boys in the room felt included and important while also hammering in on our main points: that the media representation of women is unfair and ultimately dangerous and that it will take men and women working together to begin to topple some of these inhibitive and limiting power structures.
From Trishna: On Monday the 12th of June 2017, we held our first class on the island of Mauritius. We taught a total of 90 middle school students, but this time the Beauty Within community welcomed male participants.
We began the class by introducing the organization and explaining what we want to achieve and what we hope they gain in the coming weeks. We highlighted the focus on body positivity, self-confidence, critical thinking, public speaking and most importantly empowerment. Our team then introduced the topic of the day; Media Literacy.
To encourage an interactive environment, we prompted the students to share what they think the media is and what stereotypes exist within the media. Having identified the stereotypes, we went on to show them different advertisements, thus initiating a conversation about the impact of these prevalent labels. Keeping with the theme of the day, we began to talk about social media. One of the key topics we wanted to focus on, was validation.
We explained the importance of not seeking validation online and gave the students tools to prevent this occurrence. By teaching them how to enhance their self-confidence and self-awareness, they are now able to navigate the media in a safer and healthier manner.
Beauty Within Team