Red Deer Public School District

Under My Skin offers a powerful message for Grade 7 students

Grade 7 is not an easy time for many students, especially as they come to grips with their body image.

That is where the play, Under My Skin, comes in. Recently, about 1,200 Grade 7 students in schools throughout Red Deer Public and other schools in Central Alberta took part in the annual production where they heard a strong message addressing a wide range of issues related to body image and self confidence.

Under My Skin packs a powerful message. It’s a show about body image with the importance to help kids understand that it is okay to feel certain things and it’s okay to seek help. For example, there’s the monologue with a girl talking to a counselor and it shows that that is okay. It’s the idea that everyone is experiencing this, so students are not alone in their feelings.

The production goes through a number of scenarios including a family at mealtime where the mother is concerned about what she is eating and the father eats rather unhealthy. The teenage daughter is there to witness it all. Another scene shows a group of three friends where two of them are engrossed in their phone and the third is trying to tell them something very important, but struggles to get their attention.

Students participated in breakout sessions following the performance, which is where the real messages come through. In the breakout sessions, students took part in a ‘thinking trap’ exercise which is thinking something negatively about themselves before being taught strategies to get them out of that way of thinking.

Themes in the production include body image including physical body image but also perception of yourself, encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. Cell phones are also a big theme that come up throughout the production and the idea that we don’t want to live our whole life in our cell phone or be so worried about our social media self that we forget who we really are.

Under My Skin is funded through The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and the Primary Care Network in Red Deer.