Parents, have you heard of @Jax?
If not, you better get with it!
Have you heard @Jax’s viral hit “Victoria’s Secret?”
If not, listen to it on YouTube using the link above and share with every friend and every teen you know.
Never mind on the teen part. They’ve already heard it. Her song is not a secret and it’s maybe, just maybe, unintentionally taking down a decades old, body-negative, body shaming, disordered eating promoting brand.
Who Is @Jax?
I’ve been following @Jax, a 20 something songwriter on TikTok for quite a while now. Jax is a fun singer/songwriter and American Idol alum who nails situations like a rock-band poster to the wall with her catchy melodies.
Along with songwriting, @Jax is a nanny or babysitter for a pre-teen girl, Chelsea, who was recently body-bullied by a “friend” when trying on bikinis.
A few girls went shopping at Victoria’s Secret before their first boy-girl pool party. Mean girl told Chelsea that she looked “fat and flat” in a bikini she was trying on.
Chelsea told @Jax about it when she picked her up. @Jax was “cringing” thinking about her own body insecurities growing up watching VS models on the runway, so @Jax took it to her keyboard and her body-positive anthem was born. Her song went viral from launching as a flash mob outside of VS headquarters, choreographing the lyrics:
Victoria’s Secret Song Lyrics (by @Jax)
God I wish somebody
would have told me
when I was younger
That all bodies
aren’t the same
itty bitty models
on magazine covers
Told me I was overweight
I stopped eating.
What a bummer.
Can’t have carbs and a
Hot girl summer
If I could go back
And tell myself
When I was younger….
I know Victoria’s Secret
And girl, you
She’s an old man
who lives in Ohio
Makin money off
Of girls like me
Cashing in on
Selling skin and bones
with big boobs
She was MADE UP
by a dude
Victoria was MADE UP
by a dude
Itty Bitty Models, Dudes in Ohio, and Unhealthy Body Image Standards
Victoria’s Secret has created this situation for themselves by promoting and profiting off an unattainable and unhealthy body standard for decades now.
The power of social media to take down a brand makes me feel hopeful.
Calling out VS and its creepy founder DUDE is a strategic by product of her viral song. It’s like a bonus. It wasn’t her intention. @Jax only intention was to help Chelsea whom she adores so that Chelsea won’t suffer from the same society-induced body image issues and disordered eating @Jax endured. She can’t protect Chelsea from our society that’s obsessed with the pursuit of thin privilege, but to stop the internalization of fatphobic aggressions will likely change the trajectory of Chelsea’s life.
Most Teens Experience Body Shaming and Body Judging By Peers
Let’s focus on what’s going on with your teen because most teens (lots of studies show) experience body-judging and body-shaming by peers, doctors, teachers, parents, and themselves. Check out my anti-bullying blogs starting with, “Stop bullying your selfie.”
Unfortunately, us parents all too often get stuck in diet culture thinking and get triggered or activated and fight, flight or freeze up when our teen is experiencing a situation like this.
How to Get Unstuck from Diet Culture and Help Your Teen
How would you show up in this situation as a parent?
Do a pre-visualization (mental rehearsal in coach talk) right now and imagine your teen getting in the car after being at the mall with friends and they told you a “friend” body-bullied and shamed them. Their “friend” called them “fat and flat”.
Would you be like my mom, Barb, and say, “Oh, don’t listen to her. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Barb would also add in a dig, “She’s homely.”
Would you get into fix and solve mode and call out the bully?
“I’m going to call her mom when we get home. I’m not surprised. Her Mom’s superficial and weight obsessed.” This is exactly what I would do 100% as my past-parenting self. I do believe there’s a time for this approach. It feels so good to get that bully’s mom on the phone right away, but it’s okay to pause and respond rather than react.
How would you talk about it?
Would you say, “I can’t believe she said that. You’re not fat or flat.”
Or would you get triggered or activated like some parents by your diet thinking self, get into body-judging and say, “She’s bigger and less curvy than you.”
Do you have the words to help your teen, so she/he/they depersonalize and don’t internalize fatphobia and dehumanize themselves which often leads to restricting food?
Restricting food leads to overeating and binging. Restricting food is harmful 100% of the time.
You want your teen to create healthy habits and have self-confidence, which is what parents tell me they want and what I also want for my kids. That’s a given.
I just want my kids to lead their magical lives. Also, I have funny kids and, selfishly, I like to hang around them because all three of them make me laugh. So, more magic and more laughs. More hilarious quotes from “The Office” from my daughter, Audrey, who knows every line from every season, please.
What do you want for your teen?
Have you seen the September 2022 mantras about debunking diet culture? These mantras may also be helpful for your teen if you would like to share them.
Show Up for Your Teen Like @Jax: Be a Parent Who Calls Out Diet Culture Harm
What I want for you and your teen is for you to show up like @Jax.
Be the kind of parent who would write a body positive anthem and call out the harms of diet culture.
Write Your Own Body Positive Anthem for Your Teen
Ready to write your own body positive anthem for your teen?
Start with my 5 ways for Parents to be an Upstander when their child or teen is bullied:
- Acknowledge and accept feelings with a word or sound…. “Oh, mmmm (like Marge Simpson)”or a simple statement:
- “That sounds so tough.”
- “I understand why you’re upset.”
- “I’m sorry that happened.”
- “It’s not okay that she/he/they said that.”
- “How are you feeling about it?”
- Instead of logic and explanations, validate and allow your teen’s feelings:
- Sit and listen and allow your teen to express anger, sadness, defensiveness, or whatever emotion is coming up.
- Don’t make it about you. Your experience is your experience.
- Let your teen know:
- It’s bullying and it’s unacceptable.
- Body judging and shaming isn’t okay.
- Stay out of “should”, “shouldn’t” and “I wish” statements:
- The aggression happened. That’s reality. “She should not have said that.” “I wish they wouldn’t have said that.” “I wish our society wasn’t so messed up.” These things are out of your teen’s control and put your teen in a powerless place or a place of fixing and controlling what they don’t cause or control.Guru time: Byron Katie says all our suffering comes from attachment to beliefs that things should be different. From not accepting reality. My business, your business, and the Universe’s business. As a parent, with good intention, you want to fix and solve and make it go away.What do we control as parents? How we show up and where we put our attentional focus.That’s kind of it.Oh, and don’t forget the unconditional love part. There’s that too.You are there to support he/she/them.They aren’t powerless.
They get to decide their next best step.
This is not the time to lecture about bullying or try to make your teen be objective about a situation that is so emotionally loaded.
Has nothing to do with them. Let your teen know how to depersonalize it. They are not powerless. Create a bully ban. Be an upstander in a situation like that in the future. Start by being an upstander for themselves.
- Create bully bans to help your teen create healthy boundaries:
- Try one I learned from a mom who follows me on TikTok: She coached her daughter to say, even at family gatherings when family members comment on her body:
- “MY body is none of YOUR business.”
Self Trust Improves When a Teen’s Parent Has Her Back
Your teen will know you are there for them.
Trusting you is their first step to creating self-trust they will have their own back in the future.
Keep the door open for ongoing conversations.
Coach yourself to decide your next step.
You may want to address weight bullying that’s happening at school with the counselor or even the other teen’s parent. Making the decision for your next best step coming from a place of showing up loving and supportive for your teen is more powerful and productive than coming from fix and solve over function mode.
Don’t pressure yourself to get it right in the moment.
Sometimes Listening to Your Teen Is Better Than Talking
It’s okay to listen. You always get it right when you listen.
Keeping my mouth shut is what my own teens prefer.
As a parent, you know your teen best and what will work for them.
Join the Anti-Diet-Culture Community and Work with Dr. Karla
Stay tuned for more ways to work with me. I will coach you to talk about difficult topics like Victoria’s Secret induced body shaming and judging.
I’ll coach you to show up like @Jax and write your own body positive anthem for your teen.
I’ve always got your back,
Notes for Teens:
If you feel stuck in a body bullying or body shaming situation:
- Realize that friends don’t judge and shame other people’s bodies. It’s bullying and bullying is always unacceptable.
- Talk to someone you trust who will listen and not just tell you what to do.
- Allow your feelings and emotions.
- Realize bullying is about the person and not you. When someone is judging someone else, they are judging themselves. It’s coming from a place of weakness and insecurity always.
- Don’t get in their head. Don’t try to spend time figuring out the bully’s motivation for bullying.
- Keep talking about it if you need to or want to.
- Think before sharing on social media or with other friends. Maybe you want to but think about it first.
- Write about the situation for a few minutes.
- Decide if you want to confront the friend who bullied you and what you will say:
- “That was hurtful.” Say, “I felt…., “instead of,
“You made me feel……”.
- “That was hurtful.” Say, “I felt…., “instead of,
- Create a healthy boundary for yourself (physical, emotional, or verbal).
- Make sure you don’t comment on people’s bodies and don’t talk crap about your own body when you’re with your friends.
- Try this bully ban one of my TikTok followers uses:
“MY body is none of YOUR business.”
- Be an upstander not a bystander if you see body bullying. “You need to stop. That’s not okay. It’s creepy to judge and comment on other people’s bodies.”
- Go to the party!!! Don’t let the bully win. Show up and have fun!
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