Have you ever read anything on Facebook that caused you to tear up? Yesterday I had that experience when reading “Husband’s Heartwarming Response to Retouched Boudoir Photos of His Wife.”
In her article, Barbara Diamond perfectly captures how our toxic girly thoughts have us doing to ourselves what society does to us:
- focusing on our physical flaws
- feeling less than when we do not see ourselves as measuring up
Listening to these girly thoughts causes pain and anxiety—not only in us but also in those we love.
Erasing a Life
Diamond describes how a curvy woman, a size 18 in her midforties, decided to invest in boudoir photos that would spice up her love life with her husband. But following her toxic girly thoughts, she wanted them heavily photoshopped. The photographer, Victoria Caroline Haltom, complied by removing her client’s stretch marks, cellulite, wrinkles, and fat, only later realizing what she had done.
The photos were lovely. What was unexpected was the hurt and confused feelings of her client’s husband, who wrote:
When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years.
How NOT To Act on Your Toxic Girly Thoughts
When you look in the mirror and see only what you wish wasn’t there, remind yourself, as this husband did, why you have a particular imperfection. Instead of focusing on “negative” attributes, ask yourself:
- Does your grandmother’s distinctive nose link you to your rich family history?
- Is your extra skin a result of finally going on that diet to be healthy?
- Is your grey hair evidence of a long life?
- Do your luscious breasts bring back memories of breastfeeding your children?
Now rejoice in those memories. These imperfections are what make you uniquely you and not some cookie cutout. And tell those toxic girly thoughts you don’t have time to indulge them, and live your life.
Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest 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.
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.