Friday, September 3, 2010

Operation Beautiful... my journey.

If you are a regular reader, you know that I rarely accept products to review... booorrrring! However, I actually asked the publisher of this book if I might have a copy to review. It is a topic so close to my heart and my family, that I thought any insight I may gain would be much appreciated. The book is called Operation Beautiful (as is the website.) The goal of Operation Beautiful is to "end negative self-talk to help readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically."

Why is this so important me? Well, I have 3 ladies that I am trying to raise as confident, dynamic, kind little works of art. And, if you have a daughter, you know what a daunting task this is. To try to make a little girl see past hundreds (thousands??) of social cues she sees every day and love herself for all that she is? It feels nearly impossible at times. As women, we just seem somehow pre-programmed to constantly berate and negative self-talk ourselves to death.

As I was reading the book, my husband asked, "What are you reading?"

"A book about transforming the way you see yourself."

"Why? You're hot."

"Umm, I don't always see myself that way with my body after birthing 3 babies."

"But, you're hot."

I just sighed and went back to my reading. As a man, he just doesn't get it. A woman's self image has very, VERY little to do with her weight. And I certainly do not fault him for being slightly clueless around these issues... but it does scare me as the girls get older that he will have no idea how to handle their inevitable breakdowns over self-image and self esteem. Our girls all have my physique, so he (and,actually, many people) will assume that they should simply be in love with themselves. But, really, a 120 pound woman can look in the mirror and see just as many flaws as a 250 pound woman. What the hell is wrong with the female psyche that causes this constant self- hatred.

As a small framed woman, I rarely talk about this subject in public without fear of being kicked in the shin. Women that have weight issues do not always sympathize with smaller women that we all share in this vicious cycle. That is one thing that I loved about this book, it reached out to all women. Sharing that the negative talk affects all of us. (Citing passive aggressive comments where we might say to someone, "I would get so fat if I ate as much as you.")

Operation Beautiful is an endeavor for all of us to recognize and inspire the inner beauty in us all, one post-it note at a time. Each woman has a long journey ahead of her to retrain her thought process and begin to love herself. Every woman and every young girl.

I consider myself an intelligent woman. I can look at this photo with the head cut off and think, not too shabby for a mommy of 3. She looks healthy and fit. But, stick my head back on and put me in front of the mirror and my mind races... look at that poochy belly, look at that jiggly bum and cellulite thighs... aghhhh!

But I can not do this to myself nor can I pass that legacy on to my 3 beautiful daughters. I need to set a tone wherein we love ourselves because we are healthy, happy, fit, brilliant, talented. As women who can fully understand the struggle we are all experiencing, we need to help eachother. If it means leaving an operation Beautiful post-it on a random mirror, than that is a small treasure we can give each other.

If you have a daughter, or (most likely) struggle with your own body issues, I highly recommend Operation Beautiful. Consider it a weapon added to your arsenal to raise healthy, happy little girls. I also think it would be a great tool for those daddies who just can't wrap their head around their daughters' self loathing and constant fat-talk. I think author, Caitlin Boyle, has come up with such a simple gift that we can give eachother by simply passing on some positive words whenever the mood strikes you... I was so inspired, I stared immediately, posting a post-it on a public mirror:

and more importantly, on the inside of a college academic planner at Staples. I knew some young lady would pick this up as she headed off to one of the most emotionally trying times in a girls life:
I also placed one on our own bathroom mirror in hopes of beginning a conversation with Ariana... she has yet to ask about it. I do plan on taking her on an Operational Beautiful mission to plaster some post-its and begin a conversation with her.

One more weapon in my arsenal.


  1. That is awesome. It has taken me 30 some years to begin to accept myself. I still don't like what I see in the mirror, but I am proud of the body that grew and birthed my 2 babies. I will have to grab that book!

  2. You are an inspiration!

  3. Sounds fascinating -- and very much needed. I've had my own issues with weight. After my weight not changing from high school until I turned 40, I gained 30 pounds in 18 months after I started taking a new medication. I went from stick thin (which had its own issues since I felt I didn't have any shape) to having a much more rounded figure. I'm struggling to lose a few pounds, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that I should just eat healthy, exercise and accept the way I am. Thanks for your very thought-provoking post.

  4. thanks for that ... xoxo love you

  5. I need to buy the book and start this journey with my budding preteen. Thanks for sharing!

  6. And... also... this is very interesting to think about. You know, I don't think I have ever told my daughter that she is beautiful. If I have, then I don't do it that often. I guess I didn't want to concentrate on "looks." But, as she grows I tend to think that she might like/need someone to tell her that she is beautiful. I should definitely read the book. Thanks again.

  7. Totally buying this book. I was just having a discussion with another woman this weekend about our body image issues. Thanks for doing the review :)

  8. Kudos! I will be adding this book to my literature for my customers. We all need to take this journey!