It’s never too early to get kids thinking about body image and diversity, say facilitators of a project developed by Louisiana State University’s (LSU) Child Development Laboratory Preschool.
The preschool teachers traced outlines of the students’ bodies onto large pieces of paper. The children were then encouraged to paint their tracings with colors similar to their own skin color and to choose fabrics for their outfits. Next, the preschoolers were urged to discuss their feelings about the project. The purpose of the study, according to an LSU press release, was to begin a healthy dialog about body image at an early age, and to teach children to respect themselves and others.“As early childhood educators, we believe that promoting an appreciation of diversity and a respect of differences is part of the process of helping children develop positive body images,” stated preschool teacher Carol Aghayan in the press release. “This type of experience easily lends itself to discussions about our bodies and our abilities, and it encourages children to accept themselves and others.”