It’s how you look that counts.
That’s the message the Oscars give to all of us. Every detail of every outfit is studied. The simplest flaw, —any sign of imperfection is analyzed under bright lights and from any angle.
Now you know how some teens feel.
When they walk past the groups at the lockers they feel vulnerable and exposed. Students can be merciless to each other. They can see their friends give them the once over. How can anyone measure up? So when they get the chance to take a selfie they try to improve on the fashion faux pas. That’s one way to cope. I think there are much better ways that we can help students thrive in their red carpet world.
Create a No Burn Zone
If you run a youth group or a youth club for jr or sr high students set a few ground rules. Make it clear that judging others is not acceptable. Students need to know that they can let their guard down in this environment.
Some groups don’t allow the use of smart phones at the youth group activities. This is partly to improve attention and interaction but it reduces the opportunity for students to take pictures of others and then post them.
Have Good Role Models
Ordinary adults who dress modestly and model acceptance set healthy standards for a group. As these same leaders affirm students for character traits instead of looks it helps them put less stock in looks. As leaders demonstrate these values students may pick up on them.
Teach on Values
One great activity is to have a values auction. Students get a chance to bid on what they want out of life. After the auction students can discuss what they bid for and why.
However you teach about it, students can begin to critique the culture that been constantly and mercilessly been critiquing them.
Have Students Affirm One Another but not for Appearance
They could write on pieces of paper taped to their backs. They could give warm fuzzies or standing ovations. One group gives out “Oscars” to students not for looks, but for qualities that are truly praiseworthy.
Love Teens for Who they Are
I could go on and on about this for pages. I want start a campaign that every student is loved unconditionally by at least one leader. They are loved not because they are cute, loveable or even well mannered. They are loved because they need to be loved. If every student associated with your group had leader that was committed, available, and involved every week in the life of a student tremendous things could happen.
An Excellent Opportunity
What a life-giving role caring youth ministries can have in the lives of red carpet students. Wouldn’t it be nice for them to be able to relax some place. Would’t it be even better that they could relax at your programs, with you and your leaders? Yes, that would so nice.