By Trilby Goouch
“Transforming the way you see yourself, one post it at a time.”
This is the mission of Operation Beautiful, a self-esteem campaign targeted towards eliminating negative self-talk or “Fat Talk” amongst girls, women and men. The concept utilizes post-it notes as reminders and promoters of positive self-talk and body image. By encouraging people to write anonymous post-it notes with positive messages, the campaign hopes to convey the message that everyone is beautiful. Anyone can join in on the movement, and all it takes is a sticky note, pen and a few positive words. The organization partners with NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) and Confidence Coalition in raising awareness, and has been featured on both the Oprah and Today Show.
I’d heard of Operation Beautiful a few years ago, and my friends at Western had noted that they occasionally found sticky notes on some of the gym treadmills and ellipticals. I also noted that two yoga studios in Kingston, Samatva and Studio 330, placed positive messages on their mirrors. Inspired, I decided to go around campus posting positive reminders in an effort to spread Operation Beautiful’s message. Whether posted on mirrors, stalls, desks or treadmills, I put them in places as I followed my daily routine.
I found it really satisfying, knowing that each post-it would make someone smile. It may sound painfully cliché, but there’s no denying that finding a positive message like that is going to brighten your day, especially when you least expect it. We’ve all experienced the power of the inner critic; seeing a positive note, whether it says, “looking good today” or “wow, you are simply lovely!” immediately lets us step back and take life a little less seriously.
So, Queen’s students, I challenge you to find yourself a post-it note and pen and keep it in your bag; make a conscious effort to post positive messages here and there around campus. Get creative; post them on lecture hall desks, workout equipment, locker doors, Starbucks lid holders, black boards, inside library books … have fun with it! People will only benefit from it, and you’ll feel good about doing it. With exams fast approaching, life tends to take a more serious tone in the upcoming weeks, so why not lighten the mood and inject some positivity? You can check out the operation beautiful website for daily quote inspiration.
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