Social media is such a cultural force with the power to affect students’ self-esteem, confidence, and sense of identity. Our Seminar teams continue to work hard to find meaningful ways for students to analyze these concepts in an empowering way. This year we have implemented a unit entitled “Cracking Holton’s Culture” into our LW3 Seminar 10 course. Throughout this unit we have analyzed ways in which dominant culture influences Holton culture, and critically examined how we move between these spaces. Within these lessons, we have discussed ways in which we receive and sometimes internalize messages of body image and identified how these messages perpetuate and/or challenge systemic oppression and sexism. To end the unit, students were asked to respond to the following prompt:
Picture scrolling through social media. As demonstrated in previous lessons, we are surrounded by advertisements that promote dominant culture and ones that twist our perceptions of reality. Your task is to reclaim this reality by promoting an empowering message centered around body image. You may disrupt this feed through a written expression via op-ed piece or via imagery. You must apply at least 3 vocabulary terms provided in this unit and manipulate at least 2 or 3 things on the provided template.
Browse through the slideshow below to view samples of our students' projects—some of the ways they are seeking to promote positive body image in attempts to change popular culture.