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Operation Beautiful: A Review

August 11, 2010

I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of the new book, Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time by Caitlin Boyle to review. This book is an inspiring, quick read. Perfect for the beach if you can squeeze any beach days into these remaining days of summer.

Operation Beautiful started with Boyle leaving a note stating, “You are beautiful!” stuck to the mirror in a public restroom. She left the note as an affirmation to both herself and to whomever might come across it and read it. On the Operation Beautiful website, the mission of the project is described as “to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough… just the way you are!”

The book is compilation of some of the notes which have been posted since the project began, including the note-writer’s story and/or motivation for writing their particular note. Additionally, some stories of those who have come across Operational Beautiful notes and the impact the notes have had on their lives are also included. The messages are powerful in a world where girls and women are surrounded by messages that their bodies are not good enough, slim enough, or pretty enough the way they are. The book also includes some brief sections of tips on how to develop healthy relationships with food, exercise, and people.

What touched me the most personally about this book was how empowering the act of being a note-writer can be. Many girls and women in the book write about how the experience of leaving a note for others left them feeling happy and uplifted. I discussed the book and the project with my daughters and am feeling inspired to organize an outing for us to leave Operation Beautiful notes somewhere soon.

This book also reminded me of the power of written affirmations. In my earliest days of motherhood, my husband had written a note for me that I kept on my bedroom mirror. Neither one of us can remember exactly what the note said anymore, but it was something along the lines of, “You don’t have to be perfect. You are a good enough mom.” As I’ve grown in my comfort and confidence in being a mom, I don’t really need that daily reminder anymore, but when I was in the process of first becoming a parent, I definitely did.

What are you needing to remind and affirm yourself of right now? Perhaps you can leave yourself ~ or someone else ~ a note. Check out Operation Beautiful for some wonderful ideas.

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