The first thing I thought when I opened up Operation Beautiful was “wow, why is my handwriting not as pretty as all these other women who wrote post-its? Seriously, did the pretty penmanship female gene just totally skip over me?” Then I realized that starting off my journey into Operation Beautiful with a negative thought would not be very fitting… so I pushed my handwriting insecurities aside and immersed myself in the messages published before me.
I wasn’t sure what I as expecting, or if I was expecting anything at all, but once I started reading the first page and Caitlin opened up with such honesty, I was drawn into the book. As I turned the pages, I felt the positive messages begin to fill me up. It’s no secret why Operation Beautiful is such a success… it’s uplifting, supportive thoughts are what women have been in need of for years.
I’ve been so interested in reading the personal stories that fellow bloggers have been posting about their own body image experiences, and feel compelled to add my own observations into the mix…
When I think back to when I was growing up, I can’t quite remember when I was first introduced to “fat talk”. In fact, it isn’t even always ‘fat talk’… sometimes it’s “my nose is too big” talk, or “my thighs are flippin’ HUGE talk”. But despite not being able to pinpoint the moment it entered my life, I do remember it being the way I unintentionally bonded with female friends. We’d sit around and someone would complain of their “muffin top”… to which each girl must then respond with a derogatory fact about their own personal appearance or risk not fitting in. It was comical in Mean Girls… remember when they are all insulting themselves in front of the mirror, and when Lindsey Lohan’s character doesn’t say anything, they all stare at her in an uncomfortable way until she hesitantly admits to having awful morning breath? Hilarious in the movies, but not-so-much in real life. Through high school and into college, at cheerleading slumber parties or getting ready to go to frat parties, the negative girl talk continued. Although, I do remember this one particular, self-confident girl had the nerve to admit she actually liked her hair while my friends and I were all cursing our straight, or curly, or flat or frizzy hair. We all looked at her and scoffed…. How dare she like her hair!
To be honest, it is really only in the past year or so I’ve noticed this odd style of female “mean girl” bonding. They say the first step is recognizing you have a problem, right? Well, luckily I recognized it! I noticed it right about the same time I began to focus more on my health, and less on the size of my pants. I started to see that my “fat” thighs were actually quite strong and allowed me to go hiking and camping with Hubbs. I found when I started appreciating what my body can do and wanting to take better care of it, I wasn’t so focused on bashing it.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I’ll check myself out in a bathing suit and my eyes start to wander to those old “trouble” zones… but now instead of wasting time wallowing around in my own self-pity, I smear on some sunscreen and enjoy a day splashing around in the lake with Hubbs and K-dizzle (both who happen to think I’m pretty wonderful the way I am ;)).
When I get around my girlfriends, I sometimes slip back into my old habits, and join in the conversation by pinching my thigh or swearing I have crows feet forming… but you know what I finally am realizing? That stuff isn’t very much fun to talk about. And not only am I over insulting myself, I’m over hearing my girlfriends insult themselves. There are reasons I pick the friends I have… they are all funny, charismatic, intelligent, beautiful, fun girls… so now when I hear any of them talk down about themselves, I do my best to tell them how wonderful and amazing I think they are… just the way they are.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts… I didn’t mean to go on & on, but I really was inspired by the positive movement Caitlin started, and now, here’s your chance to see what it is all about.
Operation Beautiful’s publisher sent me a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!
To enter, simply leave a comment telling me one thing you like about YOU. (my answer? I like my sarcastic sense of humor… and my smile…because I use it often and usually get a smile in return :)) You can enter again by tweeting about the giveaway, and leave me a message letting me know you did. I’ll pick a winner Wednesday night!
Good luck, all you beautiful people!
For more information on Operation Beautiful, please visit http://operationbeautiful.com/