Operation Beautiful

By Miriam, age 14, Oregon

Body image for teens today has become a disaster zone. You see girls everywhere across the world posturing in front of mirrors, stepping on scales, and critiquing their tiniest flaws. They're saying they're fat when they are not, griping about acne or pimples when they barely have a blemish, or even saying they are downright ugly, which, by the way, is not true.

Here's the news flash about flaws, girls: We all have them! It would be a pretty boring world if we were all perfect.

Though it's true that no one is abject of imperfections, we are all beautiful! No matter what we look like - blonde, brunette, tall, short - we are all stunning young women. Not everyone realizes this, though. Girls in every country coat themselves with cosmetic products in an effort to look 'hot', when 'hot' is just the media's definition of unattainable idealism. Why do we do this? The answer is simple: we are insecure.

As young people today we are still learning, forming opinions, and growing up, so we need support and encouragement. But so many people don't understand this, that we still fragile in our opinions of ourselves, butterflies emerging from a chrysalis, and that we really do need encouragement. This has led to all sorts of problems and resulted in the way many women think about themselves today.

But there is still hope. One woman began with a simple sticky note that she slapped on a public bathroom mirror that said: "You are beautiful." She has now started a revolution of positive attitude towards ourselves.

Caitlin Boyle is the founder of It is a movement toward a healthier body image for women today. She says we can help by spreading the word to other women, that they are beautiful, inside and out. The next time you leave the house, take sticky notes and a pen, write an encouraging message, and stick it somewhere public that other women will see it. It's just that simple. Sometimes the voice of a stranger can be even more powerful than from your friends and family.

Now, when you've done that, you can share your note with others on the site, or you don't have to! If you visit the site you can read lots of encouraging notes from other women across the nation. Either way you will be spreading the love that we need to share. The voice of change will not come from the outside world, the media, or the television, but from each other, the support of millions of other women, and this is just the beginning.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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