A video of the play ‘Under My Skin’ will be shown to seventh graders in Red Deer Public Schools this month to address issues of body image. (Contributed image)

A video of the play ‘Under My Skin’ will be shown to seventh graders in Red Deer Public Schools this month to address issues of body image. (Contributed image)

Red Deer Public School students discuss body image through video

Body image issues among middle schoolers will be addressed in a film presentation viewed by Red Deer Public School students.

Educators know that body image has a significant impact on many young people, relating to their self-esteem, healthy and active living, resiliency and relationships with peers

The play Under My Skin, was first produced in 2009 to help address these issues. It was commissioned by the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, with financial support from the Primary Care Network.

Before the pandemic, 1,000 Grade 7 students from the district saw a live performance of the play annually, but the pandemic necessitated other kinds of viewing, so the play was videotaped last summer so it can continue to be used as teaching tool.

The video of Under My Skin will be shown to Grade 7-ers this spring. While 40 Central Middle School students will be seeing it at Carnival Theatre on May 25, others will view it in their health classes, or from the district’s website.

“COVID-19 challenged us in many ways and it was important to find a new way to share these valuable messages with our students,” said Kristine Plastow, Chair of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools.

“This is a powerful production that we know will resonate with students. We look forward to sharing it.”

The video has since been made available to schools across Alberta. Alberta Health Services has helped distribute it, ensuring every Grade 7 student sees the message it brings about self-acceptance.

Family physicians feel it’s important that body image be discussed so that young people feel not everything hangs on appearance, but also in “how you portray your personality. You’re beautiful from the inside out,” said Dr. Peter Bouch, a family physician in Red Deer and member of the Primary Care Network.

Red Deer Public School