Making of a Model

Wednesday, 25 February 2009 17:57 Quentin Hancock

The beauty and fashion industries spare no expense in transforming models into goddess-like figureheads for company advertising.  In this MediaLit Moment, your students will take an inside look at some of the techniques used to make this transformation happen.    

Ask students to identify the techniques used to turn a woman into a billboard model

AHA!  A lot of people have to do a lot of work to create the image I see on a billboard or in a magazine ad!   

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2:  Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules

Grade Level:  9+  

Materials:  Computer with internet access, data projector and screen 

The goal of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty (  is to “widen definitions of beauty” in an attempt to free women from constrictive beauty stereotypes.  The website features a number of videos, including its “Evolution” video:[cp-documentid=7049560]/ This video begins with an initial photo shoot of a woman, then lurches into fast motion as its depicts the application of make-up, hairstyling, and digital enhancements used to turn her into a fashion photo image.  The video is just over a minute in length.   

Questions for Discussion:   What techniques were used to make this woman look so flawless?  What changes had to be made to her appearance?  Is this type of beauty attainable for the advertiser's audience?

Further Discussion: The video ends with the message:  “No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted.  Every girl deserves to feel beautiful just the way she is.” As you prepare to lead this discussion, consider Core Concept  #4:  Media have embedded values and points of view.

You may also want to lead students in a discussion of the Campaign for Real Beauty.  As you prepare, consider: Key Question #5:  Why is this message being sent? and Core Concept #5:  Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

Questions for discussion:  Why did Dove put together this video?  Why would this company, which is also involved in the beauty industry, start a campaign for “real beauty”?    

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, © 2002-2008, Center for Media Literacy,   

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 July 2009 07:45 )