‘Under My Skin’ wields a powerful message for today’s youth

Think back to Grade 7. For many youth, it’s a difficult time thinking their bodies are too small or too big; most just look average while others are better or worse; for some their bodies are just plain awkward. Add to this the powerful messages and influences of peers and from media, a time when being active tends to decline and eating habits are all over the place. It’s a time where students are sensitive and impressionable making really important choices and decisions that carry into the future.

Jenna Swan’s review of ‘Under My Skin’ provides a poignant personal perspective on the issues faced by so many young people today. The presentation, and its use of social action drama, provides an effective way to examine attitudes, values and beliefs related to body image. Through the play, students hear positive messages on body image promotion, healthy active living, and positive perspectives of self. They also get advice on how they can deal with the emotions and challenges connected to body image. Under My Skin helps students develop accurate and positive body image perspectives that promote healthy self-esteem and lifestyle choices among students.

Under My Skin is made possible through financial support from the Red Deer Primary Care Network to the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The network of family physicians across Red Deer understand the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and positive self-concepts among young people and see their investment in Under My Skin as another way to get the message out and create conversations among youth.

Since the production began five years ago, over 5,000 students in Grade 7 from across Red Deer Public Schools and neighboring jurisdictions have had the opportunity to see and hear this powerful message. The production complements the health and physical education curriculum and feedback from students, teachers and health professionals has been outstanding. The presentation would not be possible without the tremendous support from the Red Deer Primary Care Network and for that, we are grateful!

Bruce Buruma, executive director

The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools