February 23, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 10

How one Web site is stopping the 'fat talk'

An example from dcwriterdawn of what a positive Post-it can look like

An example from dcwriterdawn of what a positive Post-it can look like

One Web site has dared girls to write positive messages on Post-its and place them in public places in an attempt to make others feel good about themselves.

OperationBeautiful.com was started by a woman named Caitlin from Orlando, Fla., who is a crusader in stopping the "fat talk" and having other women think about themselves in a more positive light.

"I began ˜Operation Beautiful' because I really believe that ˜fat talk' is detrimental to your personal happiness, your health, and your relationships. It's a bad habit that we need to stop as a society - I don't want my future daughter to grow up thinking she's fat just because she doesn't look like an unattainable ideal in a magazine," Caitlin said.

The idea for "Operation Beautiful" came to be when Caitlin blogged about a Post-it she had left in a bathroom, on her other Web site, HealthyTippingPoint.com. "I asked my readers to participate and, within a few days, my inbox was flooded with similar pictures. I knew right away I had something special on my hands and launched OperationBeautiful.com within two days of posting my first note."

Notes have been left on mirrors in public bathrooms, on Slim-Fast packages in grocery stores, and even on scales at gyms. Messages written on the notes range from, "Smile! You're beautiful" to "You are perfect just the way you are!"

"Operation Beautiful" has participants from all around the world - including women from the U.S., Japan, Guam, Iraq, the Bahamas and throughout Europe.

Caitlin has received more than 1,500 notes and the Web site gets about 3,000 to 11,000 hits a day. It has also been featured in several newspapers, online magazines, TV and radio shows.

The site has received so much attention that Gotham Books has made a deal with Caitlin to release a book called "Operation Beautiful: The Book" in August.

"The book will include tips on leading a positive life, stories from women, and about 125 really unique and special "Operation Beautiful" notes," Caitlin said.

Leaving positive Post-its makes those who read them happy, but the writer can also benefit from them. "I think women get a lot out of posting these notes," Caitlin said. "When they write the messages, they are really writing the note to themselves, not a stranger. They get a huge boost of confidence, as well. Plus, it's addicting to make other people happy and this is just an easy way to do it."

NU senior Mary Gillig said, "I randomly found operationbeautiful.com online one day and I love the message they are sending to girls. I go on a few times a week to see the posting of messages that other girls from around the world are leaving in public."


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