Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful

equip and empower
young women

in navigating unrealistic beauty standards

The Riverside County Office of Education is excited to be partnering with the Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful program which seeks to help young women appreciate the value of authentic beauty within. Under the direction of Dr. Setsu Shigematsu and the University of California’s Gluck Fellows, the program is currently being sponsored in all eight Riverside Unified School District middle schools.  The program is also available to other interested schools, and for repeat visits to a school site.

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful Workshop

young women watch video with woman's face on the screen
Since when and why did showing skins in pictures and posting them on social media become the definition and source of confidence and beauty? The two-hour Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful (BYOKB) workshop for up to 40 middle school girls determines to equip and empower young women in navigating through today’s social media culture of unrealistic beauty standards and body representation. Our BYOKB workshop strives to create a safe place for young women to discuss such sensitive questions and understand the how and why of authentic beauty within that’s far beyond and more valuable than what is seen in the social media culture. We encourage young women to be critical and healthy users of social media and teach their peers to be the same.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

By the end of this program, students will:

  • Be equipped and empowered to be users of social media who know how to confront the popular, unrealistic beauty standards · Learn to critically deconstruct the information on social media that may seem widely accepted or popular
  • Be informed and able to appropriately address among their peers about beauty norms that are discriminatory against women or promote racial and body discrimination online · Understand the Disney princess culture that they generally grew up learning that the standards of beauty should look like
  • Critically redefine beauty that is diverse in reality
  • Recognize female objectification in the media such as TV advertisements
  • Understand and be aware of the media profit cycle of advertisements that stresses the importance to be conforming into the image that companies are advertising for along with their products.
  • Carry on the mission of promoting racial and body diversity, healthy self-image, and anti-bullying as healthy and informed social media users.

Common Core Learning Objectives

Knowledge: The active presentation and creative room decoration making activity educate students to identify and deconstruct the unrealistic beauty representations of individuals within social media content. With guidance from university leaders, students will discuss with group in order to combat the trap of conforming into these norms of beauty at the cost of their physical, emotional, and mental health. The goal is also for students to be able to properly assist their peers who are unaware of their unhealthy social media usage.


Student will engage in interactive activities throughout presentation and create a room decoration using twine and clothespins that represents her individuality and beauty as creative, personal, and raw as possible, with no given standards or definitions of beauty and confidence. The goal is for students to deconstruct and see beyond the cultural norms of beauty and into their raw forms of individuality.

Reflection: Students will analyze their art-piece and share their new-found perspectives of beauty that is not limited to media’s representation with their given small groups of peers, workshop instructors, and family!

Outcome Assessment Strategies:

  1. During the presentation, each topic is given a set amount of time for the workshop instructor in each group of 6-10 students to lead a discussion for students to process and personalize learned information.
  2. We will regroup to discuss the presented information so students can speak and listen to each other’s opinions or questions.
  3. We will have interactive activities throughout the workshop for students to actively learn the materials they are learning especially that cultural and racial emphasis behind norms of beauty is rather broad and complex.
  4. Students will incorporate the themes and materials of the day into their art work to bring home as a reminder of the on-going mission of being a healthy and aware social media user.
  5. Students have take-home activities such as mood-tracker calendar and journaling prompts to practically incorporate learned materials into their daily lives.

If you would like to learn more about the Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful program, please contact or Bianca Smith at