British school children as young as 10 will be shown airbrushed pictures of scantily clad celebrities and models to teach them how images that present perfect bodies and skin are manipulated.
A ‘body confidence teaching pack’ will introduced as part of a Media Smart literacy programme, and is reported to contain pictures of Britney Spears in a skimpy swimsuit before and after any imperfections have been digitally erased.
Enhanced images of Calvin Klein underwear models, air-brushed make-up adverts and high-profile campaigns involving Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren will all be shown to children during the hour-long lessons.
"Young people are being set an impossible standard by the images they are confronted with on a daily basis from the media and advertising and there is evidence to suggest this has a negative impact on self esteem,” said equalities minister Lynne Featherstone.
"I want children to recognise from an early age that their value is worth so much more than just their physical appearance," she added.