How do girly thoughts develop?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD
Author of
The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (publication date 10.28.14)
The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013)
Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting—The Codependency Connection (2012)

girly thoughts quote

I’ve often been asked, “How do girly thoughts develop?” Some women think perhaps they began having negative thoughts about themselves when they entered puberty or became teenagers. The truth might surprise to you.

Your Girly Thoughts in the Beginning
It may be a rude awakening for some of you to really think back and see when you did began to think girly thoughts, that toxic, inner dialogue fed daily by media and some less-than-helpful female traditions, because you will very likely be able to trace it to a much earlier time than you thought.

A woman I spoke to a couple of weeks ago shared that she thought her four-year-old was having girly thoughts. Her four-year-old daughter told her, “I know I’m going to be popular!” Her mother was excited. “Why?” she asked. “Is it because you’re smart, helpful, a good friend?

“No,” her daughter said, smiling and twirling her hair, “It’s because I’m blond.”
A Focus on Fashion Instead of Sports
Even as young girls, we become aware of what is acceptable and what is not. We receive lots of positive feedback for being pretty, being quiet and polite, and most of all for being good . . . but how this translates may surprise you.

A male friend of mine who is the principle of an elementary school shared with me that he dreads spring. Why? “Bare midriffs, short shirts . . . why do mothers buy this stuff?” He doesn’t understand how relentless your girls can be about being accepted (he has a son). But why do mothers give in? We have our own girly thoughts, and so the cycle continues.

What to Do?
I was recently honored to speak at the 2nd Annual Beautiful Women Doing Beautiful Things Women’s Networking Event in Albany, New York, about this very subject. I invite you to watch the video of my presentation, where I give tips on what to do about your own girly thoughts.

Put those tips into action, and let me know what new strategies you are developing.

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a best selling author, psychologist, resiliency coach, former executive, and an international speaker known for her warm and funny presentations. She is the author and coauthor of nine books, including The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (publication date 10.28.14), as well as numerous articles in magazines. Watch for Dr. O’Gorman’s newest book A Man’s Guide to girly thoughts, and Out Your Girly Thoughts and Embrace Your Strength—A Resilience-Building Curriculum will be available in 2015; visit for more information.

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