Recently a post-it note popped up on a high school bathroom mirror. In simple script it read “When the world says ‘Give In’ stay strong. You are a fighter. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Have a great day.” This is just one of thousands such notes working to spread positivity around the world through Operation Beautiful.
The tenets of the mini-movement are simple: Post a note in a public place that will help build others up. Stop putting yourself and others down about appearances. Believe and spread the word that everyone is beautiful; no change is required.
It’s a message women around the world are craving and it’s having an impact. Here’s what some people have said about stumbling across these notes:
“I found a note in the stall at a Walmart in Tulsa, Oklahoma just after I had looked in the mirror and been upset with how overweight I feel. It made me smile, and I went on to have an amazing day.”
“I never thought that I was beautiful. I would put myself down and think I was ugly. I always would think my older sister was more beautiful than me. I was very insecure about my looks. I want to have better self esteem. Thank goodness I found Operation Beautiful. This will help me change the way I think about myself.”
“When I found out about Operation Beautiful, I cried. I’ve been struggling with my own self-confidence and an eating disorder. When I found out about what everyone was doing it made me so happy.”
Amazing, right? Several months ago, I got the chance to talk to Caitlin, the founder of Operation Beautiful for an article I was writing. The idea, which is less than a year old, stemmed from a single post-it note message she stuck on a public mirror and put on her personal blog. Her readers loved the idea. From there the movement took off.
She’s all about true positive reinforcement. Caitlin told me she believes so many of the positive body image messages in magazines are still negative at their root. Ideas like you are beautiful but it would be good if you tone up. Or size doesn’t matter but you need to eat healthier to lose some weight. “The message is that you are never good enough. It is really refreshing to read you are perfect the way you are and there is nothing you need to do to fix it.”
Operation Beautiful has received notes from people in Japan, Canada, Germany, Singapore, South America, Spain, the United States and Australia. Every age group is getting behind the inspirational messages too, women from 8 to 65 have emailed Caitlin about their encounter with an uplifting message.
Post a note. Spread some positivity. As one of the participants said, “If I can make even one girl like me feel better about herself for even a moment, it is worth it.”