self image Mask collage

Mask collage

developed by Ian and Michelle while working at YMCA W-S-M for sessions in a womens prison focused on self image.
we were trying to explore the vast contrast between the young women we met and the image which they portrayed to the guards and most other people. Like most people but probably more so when imprisoned people wear a self image mask and the young women we were working with, some of whom were on remand while others were serving time were no different.
They all hid to some extent behind the protection of the image they portrayed to those they interacted with. exploring this was a challenge as many had lost sight of who they were.


Self image exercise

Small group exercise
you will need : Masks, glue, magazines, glitter, stickers feathers and other decorations

Using a paper or plastic face mask (or if you are very creative make your own possibly during a session on relaxation and stress busting) and magazines tear out images and words that reflect how you Think other people see you or what face you choose show to others.

Start to decorate the outside of the mask, (the face other people see) while you are doing this talk about how important it is to you that you are seen like this, and is this really you? find your own questions and observations that will help your young people explore this.
often you can split this exercise over 2 or more sessions depending on the group.
On the inside this is where you decorate how you see yourself or how you want others to see you, the self image (these are not the same so think about your Aims & Objectives) Like the outside choose images & words that reflect this the mask represents internal feelings and thoughts as well as how you are seen and understood. explore with the young people what feelings and thoughts they have about their own self image.

Does the inside mirror the outside? Talk about why they are the same or different. Remembering we are not judging or trying to change the young people we are just allowing them to explore in a safe space.


be careful not to dismiss how people Feel or the Reality they live in.
I’m not a big fan of caution warnings but please take whatever actions and cautions you need to take. do not do lead this session this as a lone worker.


mask making:

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