by: Jason Rice, web producer Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None — Charlotte resident Caitlin Boyle is changing the way women feel about themselves … one Post-It note at a time.
Boyle, 26, is the brains behind the a new idea, Operation Beautiful, that was born one night in a public bathroom and has spawned across the globe, putting smiles on thousands of faces, all with one simple concept.
Boyle's blog-style websites features photos that have been taken of thousands of uplifting notes that are randomly left in public places in order to lift up the spirits of complete strangers and to end negative self-talk that only hurts "emotionally, spiritually, and physically."
It all started one night back in September 2009 when Boyle herself was struggling with self-esteem and felt the need to do something nice for a complete stranger. Boyle then wrote "You are beautiful" on a sticky-note and stuck it to a public bathroom mirror, and then took a picture.
Boyle then posted the picture on her blog, Healthy TippingPoint.com, and it instantly went viral. She received 75 notes in two days and then she knew she was onto something big. Since that time, Boyle's website, operationbeautiful.com, has spawned into a world-wide revolution with hundreds of visitors per day posting uplifting notes on her site along with pictures of the positive messages.
She recently published a picture-style coffee table book titled "Operation Beautiful" that features 125 of the most unique notes that have been posted and tips on how to live a healthier, happier life.
Boyle knows all too well what visitors to her site are going through. "Like most women, I have struggled with negative self talk, including Fat Talk (negative talk about my body). There is so much unnecessary pressure in our society to be perfect and fit into a false ideal. It's time we change this perspective and focus on being healthy and happy."
We asked Caitlin (via E-mail) a couple questions about her "Operation" and how it has affected her also:
@import url(/css/21106410/style.css); Q: What is the best advice you have given someone who suffers from low-self esteem?
Boyle: "You are stronger than you know. Get out there and do something to help someone else, such as volunteering, and you'll discover how beautiful you really are."
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time, hobbies?
Boyle: "I am training for the Thunder Road marathon and volunteer with Girls on the Run."
Q: What is the nicest compliment that you have received from a viewer?
Boyle: "The nicest e-mail I've received is one that literally began 'Operation Beautiful saved my life.' It's so powerful to know that I am helping people impact others and their communities at large."
Q: Have you ever had any guys upload photo notes to your site?
Boyle: "Yes! I posted a note yesterday actually that a guy found and was really impacted by. Men love Operation Beautiful, too!"
Q: What is your ultimate goal with the Operation Beautiful concept?
Boyle: "I would like to redefine beauty to focus more on health and less on size."
Caitlin Boyle is well on her way to doing just that.
Tell us your thoughts about Operation Beautiful in the comments section below.