Operation Beautiful: The Power of the Post-it

7:57 AM, Nov 23, 2011   |    comments
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Caitlin Boyle,founder of the Operation Beautiful Movement, is using those tiny pieces of paper to transform thoughts and encourage a positive outlook or a better body image.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A study found that two out of five women would trade five years of their life to be thin, but one woman is trying to change that way of thinking one Post-it note at a time.

Caitlin Boyle says the Operation Beautiful movement is using those tiny pieces of paper to transform thoughts.

"The mission is to write anonymous messages on Post-its and leave them in public places for other people to find," she says, "and these messages usually encourage a positive outlook or a better body image with messages like, 'You are beautiful' or 'You're good enough the way you are.'"

Boyle started Operation Beautiful after a rough day.

"I remember looking in the mirror and just all these negative thoughts rushing through my head about how I was a failure and how I was never going to succeed. I don't really know what came over me, but I pulled a piece of paper out of my bag and wrote 'You are beautiful' on it and stuck it to the mirror."

She received an amazing response after writing about it on her blog and that's when the movement became a book.

"Since then I've received about 9,000 notes from all over the world in all different languages," she says. "I've even gotten a note that was taped to the South Pole."

USC Student Robin Washington started following the Operation Beautiful blog a few months ago and has already posted notes all over campus. 

Washington believes in the power of the messages. "If you're having a bad day, and you see a note that says 'You can change your day,' 'Someone is thinking about you,' or You're beautiful,' it changes your day."

Caitlin believes it's about encouraging a positive body image and reminding people that beauty comes from the inside.

"We really have a body confidence crisis on our hands," she says. "The average American girl goes on her first diet when she's 8 years old.  70 percent of women feel worse about themselves after reading a fashion magazine.

"We always feel like we're not good enough, and a lot of that ends up relating back to body image, so Operation Beautiful is really about promoting a healthy and balanced attitude about these things."

Boyle says Operation Beautiful even inspired one teen to beat anorexia. "Her doctors and her parents couldn't believe that this one little Post-it had such a big difference on her attitude, but for her she said it really was the sign that she had been looking for."

Boyle encourages everyone to pick a positive message and use those little pieces of paper to change someone's day. "You might change someone's whole life just with one piece of paper."

The book, "Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-it Note at a Time," includes 125 of the most unique notes and tips on how to live a health, happier life. You can find out more about the book at the Operation Beautiful blog at operationbeautiful.com. Caitlin Boyle has another book coming out in the summer called "Operation Beautiful for Best Friends" that will be focused on 8 - 14 year olds.

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