Before ringing in the New Year, My Favorite Outfit sat down as a team to set goals to improve the activities presented at the Pop-Up Workshops. We learned that the connection between the students and volunteer ‘stylists’ was crucial in order for student success. Collectively we decided to rearrange the process of the workshop, which included a new plan comprised of small, in group activities lead by volunteers. We learned that by altering the activity process and having students work in smaller groups, they would participate more comfortably, create a closer bond with their stylists, and more freely embrace their individuality.
We had the opportunity to implement the new Pop-Up activity process at Fernwood Elementary School on January 20, 2017. As soon as the students arrived, they were separated into small groups of two or three and paired with a volunteer and together spoke about the connections between self-esteem and the way we dress.
The girls were definitely not shy about voicing their opinions regarding these issues! They wrote down notes which highlighted some risks of having a low self-esteem and solutions to embrace their own uniqueness. The students also had a chance to go through magazines and choose images that explored the difference between self-expression and self-objectification. It was an activity created to help students reflect upon their own style and understand the effects the media has upon young girls their age. Questions such as “Does your style match how you dress in real life” and “Do you feel pressure to dress according to trends, what you see in the media, or by what your friends are wearing?” were asked throughout this activity. The student’s energy at the workshop was like no other. They were so engaged in the topics!
After the activities, students and stylists worked together to shop for clothing that represented their personal style. They showed off their hard work in our ‘shopping showdown’ game and let their personalities shine through. To show off their new clothing and confidence, they walked down a runway we created in the school’s auditorium with so much confidence presenting their own individual style. This game not only challenged the girls to work together, but also put the lessons they learned with their stylists into action. It definitely showed the impact the new workshop plan had on the girls and brought a new spirit to the Pop-Up!