You Are Beautiful
Every single person is special and beautiful
by K. J. Lacey
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To reflect upon the beauty of every single person.
Preparation and materials
Have available some images of ‘beauty’ in the media and the means to display them during the assembly. Some examples are given below:
- a young girl putting on lipstick, available at: http://tinyurl.com/hk9faa2
- a person exercising with a dumbbell, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ydd454x4 or https://tinyurl.com/y9yukcdm
- some weighing scales, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yclx7j97
Have available the YouTube video ‘Dove Evolution: With some images, all is not what it seems’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.15 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
- You will also need a piece of artwork that other people may see as ‘rubbish’, but that is meaningful to you. It could be a drawing given to you by a family member or young child.
Optional: you may wish to quote Ephesians 2.10, ‘For we are God’s handiwork’.
Optional: you may wish to play the song ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera, in which case you will also need the means to do so.
Give an overview of how beauty is presented in the media today. Display the following images and make the following comments in a way that expresses that you are cynical about the message you are reading.
Show the image of the young girl putting on lipstick.
Make-up is important. It helps to build self-confidence and can give a flawless complexion. It is an essential!
Show the image of the boy exercising with a dumbbell.
It’s also essential to have a toned body. It’s the only way to attract someone to you, isn’t it?!
Show the image of the weighing scales.
We have to constantly watch our weight: it’s natural because we want to be healthy. If we’re a few pounds over a healthy weight, we could just not eat for a week, right?
Explain to the students that we are constantly bombarded with messages about what it means to be ‘beautiful’. Many of these messages are manufactured. Show the YouTube video ‘Dove Evolution: With some images, all is not what it seems’ to stress this point, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U
- As we can see from the video, models and celebrities often look very different in real life from how they look in films or on billboards. We should never disregard the beauty that each person has.
Encourage the students to look around and see how different each person is. Difference is a good thing. Difference should be celebrated!
Tell the students that you are going to show them a piece of artwork. Build up the artwork so that they are expecting a masterpiece! Show the piece of artwork and ask two students to the front to give critical feedback on it.
When the students have gone back to their seats, explain that they just judged your piece of artwork without really looking. Tell them the true significance of the artwork. For example, you could say, ‘This was given to me five years ago by my three-year-old daughter on Mother’s Day,’ or, ‘This was made for me by a child in my first ever form group’. Hopefully, the students will see that the value of the artwork goes deeper than its first appearance.
Now explain that, when we criticize each other based on appearance, we are not looking for a deeper value. Christians believe that God has created every single person. It is as if he is a divine artist and we are (as in Psalm 139.14) ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by him.
Our true value is not dependent on our Huarache trainers, our false nails, the size of our muscles or our weight.
Time for reflection
Think of any comments that you’ve heard people make about your appearance.
- How did it make you feel?
- Would you want other people to feel that way?
While the students are considering these questions, you may wish to play the song ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera.
You created us in love.
Help us to see the beauty in ourselves so that we might look more outwardly towards others.
You breathed life into us so that we might live it to the full.
Help us to live our lives in the confidence that we are loved and cherished by you.
You have given us power and free will.
Help us to use our words to build each other up and acknowledge your creative power in each person we meet.
‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera