Operation Beautiful Hits Oswego State

I had heard about Operation Beautiful before and thought it was a really moving, inspiring and motivational international body image movement. But I never did anything about it myself. I would follow the website and read the stories of random girls placing Post-It notes in the bathroom or hanging signs throughout the campus, reminding women that they are beautiful and they shouldn’t berate themselves. But I never once saw a Post-It note in a bathroom at Oswego State; I never put one there to inspire another girl.

I decided today that was going to change.

In the final hours of Sunday night, I learned that this week is Fat Talk Free Week, “a national public-wide awareness effort” that targets negative body image and stops it in its tracks. For only one week, the founders want girls to completely abolish all forms of fat talk, look at themselves in the mirror and focus on their strengths instead of their flaws.

I work at the campus fitness centers as a student manager, so I like to believe that I’m in an influential position of power. Today I put my power to good use and finally put Oswego State on the map with Operation Beautiful.

I made Post-It notes in both gyms and lined the mirrors with reasons why the girls  at my school are beautiful. Some that pertain to me in particular: “I love competing with the boys,” “I don’t need to run…I go because it makes me feel great,” and “Smile…you never know who’s falling in love with it.”

No matter what, the message behind this movement is important. Girls need to stop focusing on their bodily flaws and remember all the great things about themselves. Nobody has the perfect body and nobody ever will. In fact, the “perfect” body doesn’t exist. So stop chasing it. Embrace your differences because they’re what make you unique. You are beautiful because there is no one else like you.

What is fat talk, exactly? It’s anything that berates a woman and her body image. Saying things like, “I need to lose 10 pounds,” “Look at my love handles,” or “I despise my back fat” is considered fat talk. Even giving someone a backhanded compliment like “You look great! Did you lose weight?” constitutes fat talk because you’re only feeding this girl a compliment because of her physical appearance. You’re buying into the mainstream ideal that women need to be stick thin and are only beautiful when they’re skinny. This can lead to a girl focusing solely on her body image to keep your approval, when she should be focusing on all of the other things that make her fantastic. Being beautiful is about confidence and health, not being thinner than a rail.

So remember, no fat talk! And not just this week, either. Do it every day. Tell yourself every morning how great you are, or put a Post-It note somewhere to remind another girl.

Have you seen an Operation Beautiful note on your campus, or in a bathroom somewhere? What did it say?

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Posted on October 18, 2010, in Beauty, Exercise, Mental Health, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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