One of the first few activities that we did with all participants was the body mapping activity. Participants were asked to draw a body part that they love, a body part they think is particularly important to them, and a body part they have health issues with.
We warmed up with a few quizzes about the body before starting on making the body outlines.
The results varied from quite general to very personal. Identifying specific body parts allowed people to be more comfortable with talking about their own bodies and health, as well as tell stories about themselves and their loved ones.
The boy parts people like either symbolizes activities that they're able to do such as think (head), see (eyes), express (mouth), make (hands). Sometimes, people like a body part simply because of the way it looks, such as their beautiful hands or nose.
Some health issues people have are very personal, but many are common such as backaches resulting from childbirth, bending down to wash clothes or having to carry heavy buckets of water up and down the stairs. Because the body and parts are not made to be in proportion the resulting combined figure were sometimes comical, and in that way helped everyone relax and talk freely about their relationship with and perception of their body. In a small group, we were comfortable to share.