By Anna Nicole Kyritsis
To inform young people about the Orthodox perspective of body image; to stimulate discussions with them about negative and positive body images created within society.
PREPARING FOR THE SESSION
Review the Power Point Presentation and make sure you know at what point you will need to start the discussion. The first part of the power point is meant to run automatically with the young people watching silently as the TLC song "Unpretty" plays. The last few slides are meant to be used during your discussion and will not forward automatically. Become familiar with the presentation so that you know where this transition occurs.
Become familiar with the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord (celebrated on August 6th). Read the gospel passage that is used in the session so that you are prepared to lead the discussion.
OPENING PRAYER (consider teaching them to chant this hymn)
Break young people into groups of 4-5 people. Give each group several magazines, a piece of poster board, glue and scissors.
Ask the groups to construct the perfect male and female using images from the magazine.
Have each group present their creations to the group. Do not have any discussion at this time. As they present, write down the traits that they consider perfect on the flip chart. Tape this sheet on a wall for reference to during the discussion.
After all the groups have presented, have them watch the power point presentation. Pass out paper and pens. When the automatic portion of the power point presentation concludes on the icon of final Jesus (before quotes), ask young people to focus for a minute on the icon and then write down the traits they see in the image of Christ. Give them several minutes to do this before beginning to discuss.
DISCUSS(accept all answers and reflect back)
STATE (advance power point to slide with this quote)
STATE (paraphrase in your own words)
READ Matthew 17:1-8
DISCUSS (accept all answers and reflect back)
So, Christ was transfigured, revealing the glory that was within Him. Christ lives in each of us and therefore, we must transfigure ourselves to reveal the glory (Christ) that is within us. This is true beauty. It isn't about being the perfect size having just the right nose, or good hair. It has to do with what is inside of us.
How can we develop this likeness?
To wrap up, I want to read you a quote from St. Makarios. When I am done reading, I want you to take 5 minutes to write some thoughts down about how you feel about the image of Christ in you and how you can bring out His likeness. You are writing this for yourself and will not have to share it with anyone if you do not want to. (advance slide to quote)
What is more beautiful than to be with Christ? What is more desirable than his divine glory? Nothing is sweeter than that light which illumines the entire order of men and angels. Nothing is more beloved than that life (of God) in which we all live and move and have our being. There is nothing sweeter than the ever-living beauty, nothing more pleasant than the unceasing gladness. There is nothing more desirable than eternal joy and blessedness, about which no word can suffice to explain or thoughts to comprehend it sublimity and infinity. For how indeed can one speak about what is essentially and inexpressibly beauty?
After 5 minutes is up close with this final quote (advance to the final slide)
CLOSING PRAYER (consider teaching them to chant this hymn)
You were transfigured upon the mount, O Christ our God, and Your disciples, in so far as they could bear, beheld Your glory. Thus, when they see You crucified, they may understand Your voluntary passion, and proclaim to the world that You are truly the reflection of the Father.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR ADVISORS/YOUTH WORKERS
Eating disorders and body image issues are something many of our teenagers struggle with. Unless we begin the dialogue, we may not realize how much of a struggle this is for them. If you run into a teenager with an eating disorder, consult with your parish priest. The following websites can also be of assistance: