New Knowsy Neighbor on Patch – READ HERE and let us know if you would do something like this!!
This was a fun one. Maureen is a good friend and I LOVE the project!!
Everyone dreads moving, especially when it is half way across the country. But Maureen Troy, 37, decided to take on a new approach and created an adventure out of a daunting task. Maureen participated in a web based project called Operation Beautiful and not only did it brighten her long drive from Nevada, but likely put smiles on the faces of many strangers.
First let me introduce you to Maureen. Growing up the youngest of seven children, her family moved around around a lot for her father’s job. However, they always seemed to land back in the State O’Cheese. During her high school years, she lived in Mount Pleasant and attended St. Catherine’s High School. With her nomadic tenancies, she found herself traveling around the country since becoming an adult. But once again, after a long trip – covering about 3000 miles – she is now home in Wisconsin.
Maureen has always been a sensitive type – aware of her feelings and the feelings of others. It is in her nature to help, comfort and spread cheer. It was of no surprise that Operation Beautiful found its way to Maureen’s consciousness. Operation Beautiful was started by Caitlin Boyle, who shared Maureen’s sensibilities and the idea took off. Eventually featured on Oprah Winfrey and The Today Show, Operation Beautiful became a growing trend.
In 2009, Boyle was struggling with her own body image and self esteem. Because of this she chose one day out of the blue, to place a post it note on a public bathroom mirror simply stating, ‘you are beautiful’. She took a picture of it, blogged about it and within 3 days had a website and a book deal. Clearly, the need for a positive message was powerful as it soon became an international movement.
The mission of Operation Beautiful is to leave kind hearted messages in random public places to help convey a positive outlook – typically, but not exclusively, focusing on body image. Simple short Post-Its stating phrases like:
“Take a diet from negative thoughts; fill yourself with positive ones”
“Smile, you have something special to show the world”
“Own who you are”
Boyle believes that it is all about changing the way you see, not the way you look. So many women are suffering each and every day due to a poor self image. And often that is due to an insecurity in their appearance. Many of us hold ourselves to a standard of this generic term ‘beautiful’ and apply it to what we see on the cover of a magazine. When comparing ourselves to that which does not really exist (photoshop does wonders for the images we typically use as our measuring stick), women can often find themselves feeling inadequate. This can even lead to depression, eating disorders and other life altering issues.
Maureen came across an article about Operation Beautiful and it made an impression. “When I knew I would be making the cross country trip back home, I thought it would be great to participate in Operation Beautiful,” explains Maureen.
From Laughlin to El Paso to Epcot and Biloxi – Maureen left notes in public restrooms all over the country.
“A glad heart is all the beauty you need”
“Being the best you is a beautiful thing”
“Beauty comes in all sizes”
Maureen shared these positive messages with the women of the world hoping to help change the nature of how we view ourselves, each other and the meaning of the word ‘beautiful’.
“I just want to remind people that they are more than the lipstick they are wearing or the extra 15 pounds they carry,” Maureen says hopefully, “For me, I experience the most joy in life from the small gestures and little encounters in my day. The smile from a co-worker in the hallway, someone picking up something you may have dropped, the laughter you share in the elevator with a stranger – or finding a note in the lady’s room telling me that I am beautiful. This is how I experience God. This is how I know we are all connected.”
“The simplicity in it’s beauty is what I think makes Operation Beautiful so special.”
Thanks, Maureen. I now have great plans for our summer road trips and I look forward to teaching my girls the value of confidence, spreading joy to others and determining self worth by that which isn’t visible.