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Posted August 9, 2010
Well Intentioned, If A Tiny Bit Patronising
I am a long-time reader of the author Caitlin Boyle's healthy living blog and I admire her immensely for her kind and positive attitude and her work ethic. I have no doubt whatsoever that her decision to start the "Operation Beautiful" campaign and write this book was done with excellent intentions and with an honest desire to help others achieve a better sense of self-esteem. I can and do admire that, and I think the "Operation Beautiful" book has a definite place. For many young women who suffer from poor self-esteem and varying degrees of body dysmorphia, i.e. women who are "too fat" or "too unattractive" or "not good enough" only in their own heads, I believe this could be a hugely helpful and inspirational book. Likewise, as Caitlin says, it could play a positive part in the recovery of someone with an eating disorder.
My only issue is that to be told repeatedly (and this is true through all of the "healthy living" blog community that helped create this book) and in an upbeat way that "you're beautiful", "just change the way you see", "you're fine as you are", to basically leave behind all of the self-esteem issues and embrace yourself the way that you are, is, it has to be said, a lot easier to do when you're a thin pretty young woman like Caitlin Boyle and many of the book's contributors, most of whom have never actually been either unattractive or overweight even at their times of lowest self-esteem.
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Posted August 17, 2010
Inspirational Self~Help Book
I have five children and I half~jokingly describe them as "self~confident to a friggin' fault". Seriously, I have never met kids who are more self~assured than these guys. And I honestly have no clue where they get it from but I'm glad they have it. I mean, I'm thirty~seven years old and I don't have that level of self~confidence. I suspect many women feel that way.
Tired of watching women pick themselves apart and reeling from the destructive nature of what she calls "Fat Talk". Fat Talk is the constant picking apart of your physical attributes and declaring yourself to be fat even though you're healthy and of average size. Caitlin Boyle did something radical, she wrote a positive affirmation for herself and stuck it to the bathroom mirror at the community college where she was attending night school. The simple message read "You are beautiful!" Feeling instantly buoyed, Caitlin left the message taped to the mirror and wondered what would happen to the next woman who found her note. So began Operation Beautiful a project with the simple goal of "transforming the way you see yourself one Post~it Note at a time."
Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post~it Note at a Time by Caitlin Boyle is a compilation of anecdotes from women who took the challenge and left messages of love in random places for other women to find. The book is divided into seven chapters with five main subjects: Fat Talk, Family and Friends, Fitness, Food and Faith. Each section contains stories from women who have either found or left a note and the impact that the message had on them.
The global reach of this movement is extensive, from the heartland of America to the deserts of Nairobi and the cafes of Paris, France. Women are touching each other's lives and making a difference, one Post~it Note at a time.
This is a self~help/inspirational book for women who are looking to move beyond the traditional ideals of what is beautiful.
Caitlin Boyle is the editor of Operation Beautiful and writes a daily food and fitness blog, Healthy Tipping Point. She previously served as a contributing columnist for The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition.
For more information:
Book Goes on sale 3 August 2010
Facebook: Operation Beautiful
Disclosure: I received this book free from Penguin Group in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review, just an honest one.
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Posted August 10, 2010
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