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Back in November, we asked our readers to participate in making the world feel gorgeous with Operation Beautiful. The submissions are in!

It’s incredible how a few kind words go such a long way.
These creative notes left in random places show just how simple it is to make someone’s day.

Notes enroute

Photo by JoAnna Haugen

Photo by JoAnna Haugen

JoAnna combined her passion for travel with Operation Beautiful to spread the word while on the road. The first note was left on the tray tables in row 12 of Alaska Airlines flight 610 from Las Vegas to Seattle, while the second note was left on a bathroom door in Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport.

Dance to feel beautiful

Photo by Karin Norgard

Karin Norgard, a dance teacher in Alaska, shares her thoughts on the project:

I love dance because it makes people feel more confident about, expressive with, and connected to their bodies. So when I heard about Operation Beautiful, I immediately posted a note to my dance students at the health club in Anchorage, Alaska, where I teach. Its message not only builds up men and women who may feel self-conscious as they learn and start to open up, it reminds me why I love dancing and teaching my passion to others. It has also given me an extra dose of inspiration when writing articles on dance for my website, Joy in Motion. The response I get from a simple post-it note and from my articles is one and the same: people are excited about learning to love their bodies as well as their spirits.

Reaching out to all generations

Photo submitted by Ann Schroeder

Ann Schroeder of Relate Magazine, an online publication dedicated to inspiring teens to follow their dreams with confidence, wrote us to say the magazine had recently partnered with Caitlin and Operation Beautiful to reach the Relate audience. She writes: “The most memorable and surprising submissions were from the age groups which submitted. We had women from their offices submitting as well as teens submitting. It was a great feeling to see these notes start flooding in.”

The note above, posted to a co-worker’s computer screen, was submitted by a woman working in an office in St. Louis.

Dare to be humiliated

Photo by Joannaline C. Young

Joannaline, a MatadorU student, was so inspired by the Operation Beautiful project that she also wrote about it at WorldNewsVine. She posted seven post-its in seven different magazines, using Spanish to appeal to a wider audience. She writes: “I looked around me about every 2 seconds to make sure no one knew what I was doing. I pretended to take out a book from the shelf as people walked by. At every snapshot, I felt a rush of adrenaline immediately followed by a sense of triumph.” She concluded the possibility of humiliation was definitely worth it.

Starting with the kids

Photo by Debbie Oser

Debbie Oser is a “mompreneur” raising two boys, ages five and eight. Her company, Keeping it Positive, sells Positive Affirmation products. She writes: “I started the business after seeing how Positive Affirmations changed our sons’ attitude and behavior to be more self-assured and confident. I knew that I wanted to help spread this confidence to as many children and adults as I could.”

Debbie posted her note in the girls bathroom of her son’s elementary school in North Wales, PA.

Musical inspiration

Photo by JeBron

Singer/songwriter JeBron left this note in his home in Atlanta, Georgia, for a loved one to find. He says, ”When I placed this post-it, I was thinking to myself, what could I do to make a woman feel beautiful?”

Those tough decisions

Photo by Sarah Nelson

Sarah describes this note posted in Austin, Texas, as “decision making made beautiful.”

Thanks everyone, for your creative contributions!


How do you help reinforce positive body images? Share your comments below.



About The Author

Candice Walsh

Candice Walsh is a Professional Experience Collector and full-time writer, blogger, and inventor of job titles that don't make much sense. She's based out of St. John's, Newfoundland. Follow her website for more shenanigans.

  • Julie

    These are all fantastic! I love Joannaline’s especially, and the idea of leaving the notes on tray tables is great- I’m going to adopt that practice!

  • Michelle

    Beautiful project! :)

  • Leigh Shulman

    I love this essay. I wish I could be a fly on the way to watch people as they see these notes.

    It also reminds me a bit of Post Secret (, and I think it has the potential to grow just as large.

  • Candice Walsh

    Hahaha I’m much like Joannaline, snapping photos in public makes me feel like a perv or something. So happy to see these responses!

  • Joannaline

    Thanks guys! Haha I did feel like a perv, people thought I was taking pictures of the half naked girls in the magazines.

  • Christine

    There’s also the Belly Project,, that I think is a great source for breaking out of our current standards and beliefs around beauty. Thanks for this article, Candice – hope the project grows wildly and beautifully!

  • Nancy

    This is so great Candice! I especially love Joannaline’s too. I’m going to start leaving these notes. What a great way to brighten someone’s day.

  • Carolyn

    I love leaving notes – on mirrors, in drawers, in backpacks. I write myself notes on my mirror, my daughter’s mirror.
    My new favorite place to write “you are beautiful ” is on the mirror of my new friend and now happy Mary Kay customer, 90. Actually I wrote “I am beautiful” so she would read it to herself every day.

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