Friday, March 25, 2011

You are beautiful!

Recently, I was driving on the interstate here in Birmingham and saw a huge painted sign on a bridge that said "You are beautiful". I smiled to myself and must admit that seeing it made my day. Now, I know it wasn't written directly to me, but to all women and people who see the sign in hopes for them to smile and recognize their own beauty and self worth. After doing a little research, I realized that there are several of these signs all over the city on bridges, the sides of buildings, and other public places written by a mysterious source. The local news has featured stories on the paintings and there has been some debate over whether this is graffiti and should be removed. I don't think a positive message that can become a movement and make a change for others should be considered an illegal crime, especially compared to all of the other more serious crimes that are going on in our world today. Frankly, I think our justice system has much more to worry about. The signs are great and got me to think about how important self worth and self esteem are in women today.

Our society puts such pressure on women to be thin and pretty. We focus on celebrities who have perfect bodies and admire them from afar comparing ourselves and our worth to them. That is not fair! These celebs have endless money and resources available to pay for special food, trainers, and even surgery (!) to make them look that way.  Why are we comparing the way we feel about ourselves to people who we don't even know? We don't even know if they are truly good people, so why the heck should we compare ourselves with them? Our worth has nothing to do with how we look or what the scale reads. Self esteem comes from inside and achieving a certain weight or look will not change that. I hear people say "oh if I could just loose 5 pounds!". Losing 5 pounds will not always be the solution.
Instead of making negative remarks about ourselves in order to produce change, we need to flip it around and feel confident and positive about the great things about ourselves. The more you say "oh I have such big hips!" or "I am worthless!" or "I wish I looked like her!" the more you will feel like crap. I wouldn't tell a friend these things, so why the heck would I tell myself this stuff?? That is not fair to me. If I induce self-loathing, all I am doing is adding to low self-esteem. To create change we must be positive, to encourage and uplift in order to motivate. Instead of tearing down we should should build up. So try to focus on the positive things about yourself and see the benefits begin.  The healthy changes that you may want to happen may just happen. 
On the flip side, we should feel proud of who God made us to be and embrace that.  No one is perfect and we should not expect this from ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others only hurts.  Everyone is different and unique in their own way.  This is special! You are special!
There is a moment going on that is encouraging women to feel this way--happy and proud of who they are.  It is called "Operation Beautiful". The concept is to leave a message for a stranger to find telling them something positive and uplifting. It could be a simple as "you are beautiful".  The goal is to:

"The goal of the Operation Beautiful website is to end negative self-talk or “Fat Talk.” If this little blog only does one productive thing, I hope it helps readers realize how truly toxic negative self-talk is — it hurts you emotionally, spiritually, and physically."

I think this is an amazing concept. I personally plan to strategically place some random post-it notes in public places in hopes to pass this message on. Hopefully it will catch on and make a difference in many people's lives.  I think it already has. Check out the website 


  1. Did you put my picture on here b/c you think I'm beautifuL?! You are so sweet?! :) I think you're beautiful too!

  2. Amanda-Duh!!! You are beautiful!! ;)