By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD
The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (published on 10.28.14) — a fun book about a serious topic
Victoria’s Secret has seen the light—they’ve dropped the word perfect in their marketing.
What used to be “The Perfect Body” tagline has now become “A Body for Every Body.” This might seem like a small change, but it is an important one. Victoria’s Secret is telling us we do not need to be perfect. Maybe we can begin to believe that!
The power of your anger
Victoria’s Secret didn’t just make this major change on its own. The corporation had a pretty firm nudge—it was pressured to do this by a petition on Change.org that was organized by three British students who may have been tired of—perhaps even angry about—the relentless images of perfection that all women are supposed to strive toward.
I invite you to read the full petition at Change.org; you’ll get a real sense of the anger these young women felt about Victoria Secret’s Perfect marketing campaign, which, in the petitioners’ words, “fails to celebrate the amazing diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type ‘perfect’.”
Perfect doesn’t need to be your goal
What did these young women do with their upset over the wording? Well, what they didn’t do was exercise more, go on a diet, and torture themselves with their toxic girly thoughts, those society driven, family reinforced negative messages that tells women they aren’t good enough.
Instead, these women used their annoyance and their anger to push for change and empower others to make their voices heard, and maybe they even had fun doing this together.
And they succeeded.
Baby steps can be powerful
The Victoria’s Secret models still look the same: super slim, very young, and wearing very little, but this change is still progress, even if measured in baby steps.
Changing the wording of a corporate tag line from something that is impossible to achieve to something that instead reflects the reality most of us face is movement toward a new norm, and that is what we all need and deserve.
photo originally published on http://bit.ly/1tJQzQk
What action can you take?
As I suggest in my recently released book, The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power, one way to put an end to toxic, negative self-talk is to find an ad with an oppressive message that makes you angry, one with an image so perfect it is unreal, or one you just find repressive.
Then write a letter to the manufacturer and tell them how you feel, what you want changed. Trust me, just writing it will make you feel better! You’ll realize how ridiculous it is internalize those negative messages, and you’ll feel empowered to detox from them and from the way they make you feel.
Then have fun with this! Share your letter with your friends. Mail it, or post it on the manufacturer’s website. Start a new petition if you’re so inclined—like the three young women who pressured Victoria’s Secret, you can help others detox from their girly thoughts!
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.