Transforming the Way You See Yourself, One Post-It Note at a Time
I leave post-it notes on every bathroom stall or mirror I pass. Today, while doing a little bit of late holiday shopping, I posted thirty seven notes across my local mall. Operation Beautiful began as a blog project by a girl named Caitlin in June of 2009, and since then it has transformed into a worldwide mission backed by hundreds of thousands of supporters. The goal of Operation Beautiful is simple: end fat shaming and body negativity. Participating is really simple, too- all you have to do is grab a pen and a post-it note next time you go out in public. It might not seem like it, but finding a sweet, inspiring message can completely brighten somebody’s day.
I first learned about Operation Beautiful in 2010, and I immediately began posting messages for people. I was struggling a lot with my self esteem and confidence, and I found that even though the notes were meant to help other people, posting them helped me, too. My favorite Operation Beautiful story is the fourth or fifth time I posted a note- I don’t remember what it said, exactly, but I do remember that I placed it on the bathroom mirror at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I was with a friend when I posted it, and she laughed at me a little bit, but she smiled, too. A month and a half later I received a phone call from her. She said that her mother had gone out to lunch at the same restaurant, and came home with a wide grin, gushing about the note somebody had left in the bathroom and how it had made her awful day much more bearable. The fact that my note had survived that long, and that somebody had been so moved by it- I was in awe.
Fat shaming is very prevalent in the media right now, and people all over the country have been brainwashed into thinking that there is only one type of beauty- thin. Truthfully? The amount of fat on your body does not, in any way, shape, or form, determine your level of beauty. While “everybody is beautiful” campaigns don’t seem to do much for people- if everybody is beautiful, why should you feel special?- it is definitely important to discourage the negative stigmas surrounding body fat- something that is completely and totally normal! It’s important to eat healthy and exercise, yes, but when people act as if that will automatically cause weight loss, it enforces this inaccurate idea that thin = healthy and healthy = thin, which simply isn’t true. Health, much like beauty, comes in all shapes and sizes.
Instead of losing weight so that you will feel more confident in yourself, try to improve your self love and confidence before dieting- and realize that no matter what that scale says, you are worthy of your love and happiness.