Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Change your mind, change the world

by Brittany Geragotelis

Sometimes I can't help it. I just look at my reflection and think....Ew. Like I said, it's not all the time, but I certainly have my off days. Those days where I think I'm a little too out of shape, my face looks fat, my skin's starting to wrinkle, I have bad breath, and an antelope nose—those days are the worst. And everyone has them.

Usually when I'm having one of those days I try to avoid mirrors, so as not to remind myself I'm feeling like shit thus making me feel even worse. But 24-year-old Caitlin Boyle wants you to look at the mirror. Look at the mirror and change the way you see yourself.

all photos courtesy of Operation Beautiful
It all started one day when she was having a particularly bad day and decided to write an inspirational note and leave it for someone else to find. "I wanted to do something nice for a stranger to lift my own spirits and wrote 'You are beautiful' on a Post-It and put it on a public bathroom mirror," says Caitlin. "Then, I took a picture of the note and blogged about the experience on my personal blog,"

What started out as a good deed, is now changing the world. Caitlin's book, Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time (out now!), shows just how beautiful people can be.

Q: When did you know this was something that could change the way women look at themselves?
Caitlin: I began receiving emails from women that began with, “I found a note and I feel like it changed my life...” These powerful messages convinced me that one small note really could make a big difference!
Q: Why do you think it's been so effective?
Caitlin: I think it’s so effective because if you find a note, it’s unexpected and surprising. To know that a stranger wants you to see yourself in a more positive way can really make the negative thoughts stop. When posting the notes, I think people are really writing the messages to themselves. And it’s impossible not to be positive when you’re flooding yourself with positive messages!
Q: What's been your favorite Post-It message? Why?
Caitlin: My favorite story is Vit’s. Vit was a teenager in Canada and was in a treatment center for severe anorexia. Her doctors were concerned that it was eventually going to kill her. She slipped into the bathroom to throw up and found an Operation Beautiful note on the stall. The simple message, “You are good enough the way you are,” made her pause and reconsider her destructive behavior. She followed up with me a few months later and said she was out of the hospital and healthier than ever. Vit knew a stranger had posted the note, but she felt like the timing was a message from God.
Q: What do you think are the biggest put-downs that we attribute to ourselves and what are the realities?
Caitlin: The biggest mistake we make is beating ourselves up for not looking like models or celebrities. Ninety-nine percent of the images in magazines are photo-shopped in some way. It’s time we stop emulating or striving for a type of perfection that doesn’t even exist in the real world. It’s OK to look human!

Q: How can one person make a difference?
Caitlin: A little kindness goes a long way—you never know the impact one little note or kind word will have on another person. It can literally change their lives.

I challenge every reader of this blog to go out and leave your own Post-It with a positive message for the next stranger who needs it. And for the full interview with Caitlin, visit


Michelle said...

Definetly inspirational, and what a great idea on Caitlin's behalf. :)

I saw a banner type thing with three 'large' women on it, advertising the 'plus' size, and I swear they looked just like a normal woman, or at least 60% of what normal women look like.

Anonymous said...

I suffered with bad breath for about 5 years. I spent a small fortune on bad breath cures. Nothing I tried seem to work even as it said it would. I read on a halitosis websites a review of bad breath cures and the top of the list was Oraltech Labs. I ordered their book. It worked. It doesn’t sell you any products at all, in fact it tells you to stop buying pastes, gels, washes and pills. So if you’re going through what I have, think about this and save yourself the pain and humiliation. Just Google Oraltech Labs. GL, Jenny Wilson. NB