Body Positive Ads Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 9 - 12

Author: MediaSmarts

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


This lesson helps students understand the relationship between body image and marketing by exploring Aerie and Dove’s body positive advertising campaigns. Students begin by reading about the impact that body positive advertising campaigns have on companies, as well as on their consumers. Students will then look at body positive ads aimed towards men and read research about how there is a lack of representation in this field. They will then deconstruct a series of traditional ads compared to body positive ones and discuss how marketers target "ideal beauty" messages to both men and women and whether they are effective. Finally, students will evaluate whether body positive ads are effective in general or not through discussion.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • awareness of the media's role in promoting unattainable standards of attractiveness
  • awareness of the effect body positive campaigns have on companies and consumers
  • understand the role played by target audiences in the creation of advertising campaigns
  • understand the heightened awareness of lack of body positivity representation for males
  • awareness of the effectiveness of body positive campaigns

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit