Caitlin Boyle is your typical 28-year-old. She went to the University of Pittsburgh and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is in love with her husband, two dogs, and being a new mother. She has a passion for running, blogging, and cooking. Sounds pretty normal, right?
What is so awesome about Caitlin is that she is so relatable, yet she can be an inspiration for all of us. When she noticed how poor self-esteem and self-worth has become alarmingly common in girls and women, Caitlin set out to change that negative outlook in both herself and others in a number of ways.
One day, Caitlin was in the restroom of her community college where she was taking courses as she debated a career change. Juggling classes, a not-so-great full-time job, her blog, and wedding planning, she felt completely overwhelmed.
“I remember standing in the bathroom, looking into the mirror, and thinking that I was a total failure, that I was stupid, that I was worthless, that I would never succeed. And then, something came over me–I pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote, “You are beautiful” on it. I taped it to a mirror, took a picture, and blogged about my experience,” Caitlin remembers.
Soon enough, the idea of leaving positive messages in public places went viral. Caitlin created the website OperationBeautiful.com for others to share their experiences posting and finding notes and to spread the word about the movement.
Since then, Caitlin has received 10,000 notes from all over the world (including Antarctica!), and her cause has been featured on major programs such as The Today Show and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Despite Operation Beautiful’s success, Caitlin is extremely humble.
“People often ask me if I’m proud of Operation Beautiful, and I am, but I don’t feel like it’s really ‘mine.’ The site wouldn’t exist without the thousands of people who have participated in it and spread the word that each of us are worthy, good enough, and yes–beautiful, on the inside and out,” she explains on her healthy lifestyle blog, Healthy Tipping Point.
She is also brave, stepping out to do what many unhappy adults don’t even consider in a lifetime–she followed through and changed careers after the creation of Operation Beautiful.
“I used to work as an urban planner, but now I make a living as a blogger, author, and motivational speaker.”
In the midst of her busy schedule, Caitlin also places a heavy emphasis on healthy living and adds healthy recipes and tips on her blog to help others do the same. However, she hasn’t always been that way.
“I wasn’t always the healthiest person. In fact, I spent most of my college years drinking beer and partyin’ way too hard,” Caitlin admits on her blog. “As a result, I was constantly exhausted and emotionally burnt out.”
After having a heart-to-heart with her best friend about her habits, she took up running and since then has completed everything from 5Ks to marathons. Caitlin now combines her optimistic outlook and love of running to mentor young girls through “Girls on the Run,” an organization that encourages positive self-image and healthy lifestyles for girls through running. She even deems its creator, Molly Baker, as her greatest role model.
“I have volunteered with GOTR for two years and it is amazing to see what she has created and what a strong impact her efforts have had on hundreds of thousands of girls across the country,” she says.
So if you want to make a positive impact on the world but feel too ordinary to really create change, just think of Caitlin, the “typical” twenty-something from North Carolina–and know that you can do it.
“Operation Beautiful is a very small act that can have a huge difference,” Caitlin says. “We should never underestimate the power of kindness.”
Image Source: Operation Beautiful