One Post-it at a time

(Courtesy of Operation Beautiful)

A blogger is looking to put a stop to negative self-talk and enhance self-esteem through inspirational Post-it notes.

Caitlin Boyle, a 25-year-old Orlando blogger and editor of Operation Beautiful, said she was inspired with the idea this past June after a stressful summer of balancing both work and school.

“I thought, ‘Maybe if I do something nice for someone else I’d feel better,’” Boyle said. “So I wrote an inspirational note on a Post-it, stuck it on the mirror of a bathroom, took a picture of the note and posted it on my blog.”

Boyle said that within 48 hours she had 50 replies in her inbox regarding the Post-it note. One reply was from a soldier in Iraq and another reply was from a woman in China, Boyle said.

“I created Operation Beautiful and the rest was history,” Boyle said. “It was almost instantaneous…the way the Internet works it spread so fast I couldn’t believe it.”

According to the Operation Beautiful Web site, Operation Beautiful is a movement intended to encourage women to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find.

When posting an Operation Beautiful note, participants are asked to include the web address so other participants can find the Web site. If a Post-it is found, Boyle requests for participants to take a photo and e-mail the photo to, according to the Web site.

Boyle said she receives five to ten posts per day. The majority of posts she receives are from women, but a few are from men as well.

“I’ve gotten some really great e-mails from guys,” Boyle said. “I think guys struggle with the same things in a lot of ways…like they have the pressure to look like the jock or the movie star.”

Timothy Gleason, a 21-year-old sophomore economics major, said he would not take the time to participate in Operation Beautiful but does think guys suffer from body image issues.

“Everyone thinks they’re being watched and judged, even guys do,” Gleason said. “They think they need to live up to societies standards.”

Gleason added that society’s high standard for the perfect body is a result of the media.

“I created [Operation Beautiful] to stop ‘fat talk’ and encourage a positive attitude,” Boyle said. “We go out to dinner, we have a dessert and we feel really guilty and beat ourselves up. It’s astounding how unhappy we feel because we don’t fit a certain mold.”

“Fat talk” refers to the negative self-esteem in a lot of women, Boyle said.

Boyle said she has been “fat talk” free for three to four years and encourages others to utilize Operation Beautiful as a concrete tool to lead a more fulfilling and positive life.

Jilian Locricchio, a 20-year-old sophomore integrative physiology major, said she agrees that “fat talk” is something women struggle with.

“I would hate to say it’s the media thing but it’s just that we allow ourselves to accept that that’s the reality,” Locricchio said.

Locricchio said she has high hopes for the mission and would love to participate but is not confident that it will end “fat talk” entirely.

“It can’t be the ultimate end to [‘fat talk’],” Locricchio said. “It’s too deeply ingrained in what we think of ourselves.”

Although some say Operation Beautiful may not be the “ultimate end” to “fat talk,” Boyle said she hopes the Post-it revolution will continue to expand through the launching of a book deal.

“There’s a book coming out in August,” Boyle said. “It will include some of the best notes and has tips from myself and professionals for leading a more positive life.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kylie Horner at

CU Independent

The CU Independent, or CUI for short, is the student news outlet for the University of Colorado at Boulder. We cover news, sports, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment and more. Our mission is to provide news and commentary that’s for students and by students — about the things we care about.


Leave a Reply