Hey readers! I am very excited about today’s post because I am tremendously passionate about this particular topic. Throughout the lifespan of our blog I am sure you will get a good gist of each of our passions; this specific topic happens to be in my top 5 thingsthatgetmybloodhot (<–that’s a real word, too).
Operation Beautiful is an excellent website dedicated to destroying negative self talk and self image and learning to love yourself. Caitlin, the editor of the blog was kind enough to send me an e-mail of FAQ to aide me in writing this post. In a nutshell, Caitlin has encouraged others to leave sticky notes on various places with positive messages for others to read. Not only has Caitlin created the Operation Beautiful movement, but she also maintains a healthy living blog.
I’ve copied and pasted some of the Q&A that I believe are beneficial for the post:
- What is Operation Beautiful, and what inspired you to start it? The site started in June 2009 and I’ve received over 7,000 notes from all over the world since it started, including notes from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Operation Beautiful involves posting random notes in public places for other people to find. These notes typically encourage a positive body image or outlook and include phrases like “You are beautiful inside and out” or “Scales measure weight, not worth.” I was inspired to start Operation Beautiful after having a really bad day at work; I wanted to do something small and simple for someone else to make me feel better!
- Were you surprised at how quickly Operation Beautiful became popular? The idea definitely went viral. I was surprised at first, but in hindsight, I see why it’s been so successful. We need this type of positive messaging in society, and Operation Beautiful is simple, quick, and effective – both for the note poster and the finder!
- Why do you think a note from a stranger can have a positive impact on a person’s esteem? I think it makes people smile when they realize how much goodness there is in the world. The idea that someone would do this for a stranger is so uplifting. Also, people place these notes in locations where negative self-talk often occurs, such as the bathroom mirror, the scale, or the changing room at the gym.
- What’s your favourite Operation Beautiful note story? My favorite story is Vit’s. A teenager in Canada, Vit was in a treatment center for severe anorexia. Her doctors were concerned that it was going to eventually kill her. She slipped into the bathroom to throw up her lunch and found an Operation Beautiful note on the stall. The simple message – “You are good enough the way you are” – made her pause and reconsider her destructive behavior. She followed up with me a few months later and said she was out of the hospital and healthier than ever. Vit knew a stranger posted the note, but she felt like the timing was a message from God.
- Why do you think so many women struggle with self-esteem issues? These is a lot of negative messaging in our society, and the issues start young – did you know the average girl goes on her first diet when she’s 8 years old? The biggest mistake we make is beating ourselves up for not looking like models or celebrities. It’s time we stop emulating or striving for a type of perfection that doesn’t even exist in the real world. It’s OK to look like a human!
- What should be our “goal” in terms of healthy diet and exercise? I think the goal is to find something active that YOU like to do and regularly incorporate it into your life for pleasure, not because you feel like you ‘have’ to do it. Also, eat healthy foods and enjoy treats in moderation. Above all else, remember that the goal is HEALTH, not size or weight. Healthy looks different for different people.
I was absolutely blown away to hear how this movement helped save a life of a teen suffering from anorexia. The dieting epidemic is so prevalent in our society and the pressure to be perfect is literally shoved in our faces nearly everyday by the media. Next time you go to the grocery store I challenge you to count how many magazines are promoting “dieting tips” or how many foods have become “low-carb, diet friendly, 100 calories.” Don’t get me wrong here, I am a huge advocate for healthy living but it is easy to understand how a teen can develop anorexia. I believe Caitlin put it perfectly in terms of what our goals of healthy living should be. Be active because it is pleasurable, don’t fear food and always maintain the goal of health not size.
Because of Caitlin’s movement of Operation Beautiful I was inspired to leave my own sticky-note at our local gym this morning
I strongly encourage all who read this post to check out the Operation Beautiful website–Caitlin has put together something truly amazing that has clearly touched the lives of many.
And please remember: You’re Beautiful.