July 21, 2010

Operation Beautiful.

Changing Your Mind One Post-it at a Time.

I love the sentiment and spirit behind Operation Beautiful.

It feels good. You feel good and you can make others feel great.

Leave an anonymous post-it note in a public place for another to see with a positive affirmation.

“You’re beautiful.” “You’re perfect just the way you are.” “We love to see you smile!”

If you’ve never participated in these small but powerful acts of love and kindness, start now. There’s no better time to help boost the collective self-esteem, especially the self-esteem of girls and women. As Operation Beautiful’s founder states, negative self-talk (which she coins “Fat Talk”) is destructive and all too common.

Have you ever stood in the mirror criticizing yourself mercilessly? Think about the emotional, psychological, and physical consequences of this consistent “fat talk.”

While my yoga practice has helped heal many of my body image scars, I am still prone to this negative self-dialogue and I’ve found this time and time again among the young women (and men) I work with as an educator. No matter how conscious or how vigilant we are to the negative advertising messages thrust our way in our mediated cultural environment, they are at every turn and certainly not limited to television advertisements or magazines.

Imagine stepping on the subway or riding a cab and there’s a note telling you you’re beautiful. Sassy. Sexy. Perfect.  You’re wonderful just the way you are. Trust me, I speak from experience, these positive affirmations add up. It may sound hokey at first but, eventually, you begin to see yourself and others as fantastic. As is. No additives or fillers needed.

So, get yourself a post-it, scrawl down some words of love and leave it for another to see. Don’t forget to take a picture and send it in to OB.

Note: The spirit of Operation Beautiful’s mission has spread to wall art and the latest Facebook trend of tagging people’s name to the following image.

An earlier version of this post was posted at Feminist Fatale during National Eating Disorders Week, February 2010.

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Melanie Klein  |  Contribution: 2,900