Thursday, January 6, 2011

Post-it power

The end of the first week of the new year is here. As you know, I didn't make any resolutions myself, but those of you who did may already be feeling a bit down about how difficult they are to achieve. My God, I didn't make any, and I still find myself experiencing that new-year slump. It's almost impossible not to re-evaluate at this point on the calendar—it's almost as if we're hard-wired to do it.

In order to help us stay focused on the positive, I want to tell you about "Operation Beautiful."

This movement is designed to get women to give up "negative self-talk" and instead focus on their assets. Operation Beautiful founder Caitlin Boyle decided one day that after looking in the mirror and criticizing herself for years, she'd finally had enough of her negativity. To turn her attitude around, she wrote herself—and everyone else—a note that said, "You are beautiful" and stuck it on the mirror of a public bathroom. After posting a photo of the note on her blog, the idea caught on, and a movement was born.

According to Boyle, the goal "is 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!"

Now women the world over are leaving notes for others that tell them to "Be yourself and work it" or "Stop the negative thoughts." These signs can be found everywhere—in grocery stores and gyms, on scales and streetlamps, at work and at schools, in bathrooms and dressing rooms, on photocopiers and treadmills. The trend has become so popular, Boyle has even put out a book, Operation Beautiful: Transforming The Way You See Yourself One Post-it Note at a Time.

As Boyle explains, "I’ve realized the power behind an anonymous act. . . When I post a note, I’m saying, 'I CHOOSE to be positive!'”

On the Operation Beautiful website, women relay their experiences with the notes. As one poster said, “Last week I felt really bad. I’ve been struggling with weight issues and eating disorders for a long time, and it wasn’t going great. Plus, it seems like winter has arrived (it’s actually snowing here right now) and I had a paper to write, that I hadn’t even begun yet. I wanted to give everything up, skip class, go home and eat everything in my fridge, but then in the elevator, I noticed a little post-it that said, 'You’re braver than you think, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you believe' (in Dutch) … at the bottom it said"

If you want to participate, send an email to with a photograph of your note or a description of your experience, and Boyle will post it on the site.


  1. Love this idea! I'm definitely going to participate.

  2. I completely agree, Amber! I'm stocking up on post-its soon.

  3. Love this. Love the blog too. Keep up the great work! :)

  4. Thanks, Krysten! I needed that this week, so I really appreciate it.