For this activity to be really effective you need to have been working with the group for some time so there is a feeling of trust and openness. Reinforce your group contract, if you have one, making it clear that only positive contributions are acceptable.
Hand out paper and a pen to each young person. Ask them to write their name and then fill the sheet with an outline drawing of a gingerbread person. Explain that for the purpose of this exercise the gingerbread body will now represent the person who drew it.
The group should spend time writing onto the ‘body’ anything about their own appearance they don’t like or are not happy with. For example, ‘I don’t like my eyes’ or ‘I don’t like my thighs’ etc. Lay the sheets out so the whole group can have a look at what has been written, and then invite everyone to challenge the negative statements by writing positive comments onto the gingerbread bodies. Each person should write at least one positive comment on each sheet.
Discuss the differences between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us.