Thursday, March 1, 2012

Those "You are beautiful!" post-its are BULLSHIT (by anon)

I'd like to comment on the notes currently posted everywhere on campus in which readers are told that they are "beautiful", they have a "pretty face", and to smile because it's their "best feature", or whatever other bull crap the authors insisted on writing in order to somehow boost people's self-esteem.

I think this business is ineffective and a waste of post-its. Honestly, who really looks at the notes and thinks to themselves, "I have low self-esteem because I'm ugly and devalued in an overly superficial society, but these notes sure make me feel better, because they remind me I have INNER beauty!" ?? These notes are not going to change how society as a whole treats and values the ugly reader. We are adults in college, and we do not need to be coddled with BULLSHIT, cliche, one-size-fits-all messages as though we are five years old, because the reality is that GOOD LOOKS WILL GET YOU PLACES. Sad as it may be, this is the truth in our current society, and we cannot deny that for the most part, good looks are likely to help get you a good job, great tips, hot dates, positive attention, quick acceptance, easy forgiveness, and numerous opportunities to go places and succeed all around. And without good looks, one is typically condemned to being overlooked or ridiculed (or worse - exploited) by society in general, and whether this is upfront or concealed, intentional or not, it happens, and no post-it note will change that, nor will it really make anyone feel better about themselves or their looks.

So with that out of the way, I'd like to also mention how counter productive the notes are. We are supposed to be realizing inner beauty, but the notes say, "You have a pretty face!", and I don't even know what the hell that is even supposed to mean or how it confers inner beauty. Whoever came up with these stupid ass "self-esteem boosting" messages is a total knob and has no idea what it really takes to make people feel good about themselves (not saying I do). And here's a good one - I got word that there was a particular note posted on one of the handicapped buttons that opens doors, and it said, "Get up and go, you can do anything!". So you get the idea of how stupid and senseless this garbage is (not to mention the "Don't be skinny, be healthy!" message, which is just as senseless). Whoever those idiots are who thought, "what a great idea!", as they were posting these dumb ass notes around campus, should know they have no real positive effect, and if anything, they probably get people more frustrated and feeling worse about themselves, because up until they saw the little note concerning "beauty", they might have been feeling pretty good about themselves. So let's just be honest here - being physically unattractive is rather disadvantageous in the real world, and it requires a tremendous amount of inner strength to overcome this mentally and emotionally, and not one ounce of that strength could possibly be gained by reading simplistic meaningless messages on post-it notes. So, all in all, those 'uplifting' notes on walls and mirrors just don't do a damn thing for anyone who reads them, except maybe create more dissatisfaction and irritation.


  1. I have really enjoyed reading all the fabulous post-its around campus and appreciate that UW-W brought in Caitlin Boyle to present her positive message. I've heard several stories about others being positively impacted by the post-it notes too.

    It is unfortunate that the Operation Beautiful campaign has not been a positive experience for you :(

  2. I enjoyed the post it notes each and every time I saw them, yes they are all over, but I like that! It made me feel good about myself and those in the world around me. People often times think certain things but aren't apt to share them, so this was a nice way for many voices to be heard through a message.

  3. Thanks to those damn post-its, religious groups are beginning to use them. I found the entire John 3:16 verse on a post-it note on the bathroom door and on the mirror inside the bathroom. Thank you to whoever started this. Now people can tell me how I'm not saved wherever i go.

  4. The Post-its have been a positive experience for me as well. Though, I must say, I am a fairly positive person to begin with. Perhaps you do not enjoy reading these positive reinforcement messages b/c you are not happy with yourself?

  5. "Fabulous" ? Are you kidding me? What is fabulous about, "Don't be skinny, be healthy!". It makes NO sense!! Sure, I get the point that is trying to be made, but these messages are just DUMB. And it's not just me who finds the notes to be a waste. SEVERAL people I've talked to think it's just as stupid and worthless as I do. In fact, yesterday, in one of my classes, even the professor (who was female if that matters any) was mocking the silly messages, and it sparked an entire class discussion that lasted several minutes, in which people just made fun of the bullshit. If people say they've been positively impacted by the notes, I'm inclined to think THAT is a load of bullshit as well.

  6. Talk about perpetuating a "one size fits all" message here... how you feel about this campaign cannot demonstrably be proven to true for anyone else either. If Operation Beautiful can't be true for all people, neither can your opinion... which is how you have presented it.

    If I choose to interpret something as a certain way, I have the right to determine how that impacts my worldview. Nobody can take that away. If you believe there is a universal, honest to goodness Platonic ideal, well, more power to you.

    Also... the idea behind the campaign doesn't ignore or discount the fact that in today's world perceived beauty offers advantages. There's lots of studies that support what you're saying, but it doesn't have anything to do with Operation Beautiful. Most would suggest it's important for people to find value in themselves no matter what their circumstances. That's the impact of Operation Beautiful. Sadly, sometimes people get the idea they are worthless if they are not included in the advantaged population you describe.

    As to "So let's just be honest here - being physically unattractive is rather disadvantageous in the real world, and it requires a tremendous amount of inner strength to overcome this mentally and emotionally, and not one ounce of that strength could possibly be gained by reading simplistic meaningless messages on post-it notes"
    ... discounting the hyperbole here, what makes you think that the notes are the end all be all of increasing one's self esteem? How did you get that? It's simply the starting point. To accept an idea, first we have to introduced to the idea. That's what the post its do. It's easy to forget different ways to value oneself. Simply because the current culture sends one message, it doesn't mean it's accurate. Don't for one second forget that money drives the push for beauty products and idealization of certain body types. We should be more distressed at this than notes suggesting that everyone has inner value.

    Let's address "And without good looks, one is typically condemned to being overlooked or ridiculed (or worse - exploited) by society in general, and whether this is upfront or concealed, intentional or not, it happens, and no post-it note will change that, nor will it really make anyone feel better about themselves or their looks."

    Again, your logic fails in that the post-its do not in and of themselves accomplish what you assigning to them. But introducing an idea that runs counter to current culture is actually a good thing. Why is that offensive? Usually we are only threatened by something that impacts our own advantaged position. Wouldn't it be nice if things were different? Things don't change until a critical mass makes it so... the posts its are a simple, simple starting place for that. Then the real work begins.

    People used to believe women shouldn't vote, work, etc. Should nobody have challenged "what society says" at the time? People used to make other people slaves. Should people not have challenged that notion because "society says..." ?

    Your whole argument is logically weak and based on emotion. You could have just said "boy, I don't like this campaign, it just doesn't work for me." And you are certainly entitled to that opinion. But don't make sweeping generalizations of what the project "does" and then assume what you believe is true for all.

  7. Let's see you struggle with an eating disorder...

  8. Dear Anonymous,

    It makes me sad that you felt the need to waste so much time and effort puking hatred over the internet. The post-its have great, uplifting intentions, and they hold positive messages. Please have an excellent day!

  9. The intention of the post-it notes are to bring awareness to Eating Disorder Awareness week, which happens to be this week....the intention is not to produce bullshit. Maybe you should look more into what operation beautiful is all about, and inform your self about what is going on campus :)

  10. Great message Anonymous @ 10:04am!

  11. The original post was awesome in the sense that stand up comedians are awesome. It was so bluntly honest and true. I enjoyed it much more than the post it notes. Bravo original poster bravo

  12. The more of those damn post-its I see the more upset I get. I don't know who those people are who are writing those things. You think I'm beautiful?? You don't even know me. I don't know you. Why should I think you are being sincere? I'm a nobody to you. I'm nameless. Don't tell me that you love my inner beauty and value who I am as a person. Get to know me first, then personalize your comments to me. You're delusional if you think I should take something valuable from those trite little sayings. Did you ever think that those kinds of soundbites might be more offensive than helpful for a person?

  13. I believe that the post-it notes are worthless because they don't enforce anything positive other than "your face doesn't suck as bad as you think!" Honestly, if this is about eating disorders, the post it notes should have encouraging messages like "you can lose the weight without starving yourself" or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," something lame like that. It shouldn't encourage being overweight because being overweight is unhealthy and a bad public example.

    These post it notes should talk about fixing the problem not masking the problem. It is an under developed concept. An organization should be made to empower people to improve who they are. An organization shouldn't be wasting paper and littering our campus grounds.

  14. While I totally understand the great intentions behind the post-it notes (and Operation Beautiful in general), and I see that they can be seen as a success as people buy into them, I still think the notes are total bullshit, and I frankly do not buy them for a second.

    It's like if religious groups secretly carved out marks on rocks and trees that resemble the face of Jesus to purposely have people see them as natural phenomena, and then have a great spiritual awakening. Except in the case of the post-its, we all KNOW that the notes are part of a particular project to purposely plant an idea in people's minds. And my guess is that the idea is probably already present in those who see the notes and actually feel uplifted after reading them. If anything, people are just psychologically fooled into thinking these messages represent something meaningful, even though they can't POSSIBLY mean anything at all. I'm not going to feel uplifted or find meaning in the messages, because I see the reality, and refuse to believe the false ideal that everyone is beautiful and it's smiles all around.

    I think we should grow up and leave the cutsie inspirational messages for children, and invest the time spent on post-its into actually targeting the core of the problem we are currently facing, by focusing on society and all of the messages society sends and how those messages then create the reality in which looks are so heavily weighted when it comes to how one is valued and treated in society. Post-its just can't outdo the movies, television, magazines, etc. that we're all exposed to every single day of our lives, nor will the post-its really deliver any true, strong, and lasting messages.


  15. It is very sad that whoever posted this blog is so pissed at him/herself that cannot stand someone else's self-esteem being lifted up by a post-it note. And although I also believe the "good lucks take you to places", I also believe that CONFIDENCE TAKE YOU TO PLACES AND BEYOND. Therefore, you are either very self-conscious or you are very very selfish.

  16. For crying out loud if the admissions office should step things up around here people! Are there really only a few of us students here on this campus that get the actual point of this thing? To the person who said:

    "I don't know you. Why should I think you are being sincere? I'm a nobody to you. I'm nameless. Don't tell me that you love my inner beauty and value who I am as a person. Get to know me first, then personalize your comments to me.".... UH, the point is that you are supposed to realize this stuff about YOURSELF, not have to hear it from someone else. You want people to write a note in Esker that says "Hey Susie, you really rocked that (insert personal insight of you here)"

    Of course we don't know you and nobody is trying to say they do. The post-its are reminders to you for yourself, not from "us" to you. Duh. Sorry, I know my point gets lost for the frustration, but, duh. I don't get people who are offended by the idea of kindness to ourselves.

  17. Wow, who shared this Post with the Operation Beautiful team? The string of defensive comments at the beginning sound awfully attached to this promotion.

    I completely agree with 1:08. I'm not the type of person buy into this kind of thing. The next time I see one of those post it notes, if I have a good response in mind I think I'll just add it anonymously.

  18. To 3:18p Huh, nice assumption... that only the people that put it on would defend it. Classic. You probably go off when people hit the "dislike" button on your favorite bands on You Tube too and get all self righteous. How can anyone think opposite of me? Gasp.

    My friend mentioned this blog to me after dinner. I don't get it. It says here on the banner that it's a place to give "reasoned rants." To the side they speak of posts in a "critical, well reasoned manner." Well, the original post didn't pass that sniff test, IMO, much less some of the other comments. If the hope is to raise some reasoned debate, this ain't it folks. Fail. Most of this stuff is worse than the crap in the Royal Purple and on par with any message board anywhere. Half these comments are just rants. I don't know if comments are moderated, which I'm guessing not.

    I kind of liked part of what the person at 1:36 said about paying attention to the media and the people that send the messages out. If people got half as annoyed at THAT instead of getting your panties in a wad over some harmless pieces of paper... but no, let's just make gross overstatements about things we probably haven't even really understood. It's the American way! Whatever, my roommate and I liked this promotion.

  19. 6:17 - I've been reading this blog for a while now and every once in a while someone like you comments something like you just commented. "I thought this blog was supposed to be about good reasons and arguments. I see none of that here!" For one thing, those kinds of comments are always ironic because you rarely give anything reasoned yourself. You make accusations and call this crap, but you don't give your own arguments or supporting evidence to that effect. Practice what you preach.

    For another thing, you have an odd conception of argumentation. Read the original post here again. There is an argument there. It may not be an argument you like or think especially savvy, but it is an argument. There are many arguments posted here that I do not agree with or I find too simplistic, but I don't say that there isn't any reasoning going on. This is supposed to be a public forum, so you're going to get a lot of different levels of thinking. Of course, if you don't want to appreciate such forums of public debate, you don't have to. But it does sound like you need to learn better how to find arguments in people's writing. They won't always be spelled out clearly for you, thus it is a skill you should learn. But I'll save you some of the work and make the argument I just gave clear for you:

    1) There are many arguments posted here written in many styles and competencies.
    2) One who can detect them has good critical thinking skills.
    3) If one cannot detect them, that person can stand to learn more critical thinking skills.
    4) You seem to have trouble detecting these arguments.
    5) Therefore, you can stand to learn more critical thinking skills.

    The American way is to dismiss something as crap which one doesn't understand. Don't do that. I'm not defending this blog as the paradigm of critical thinking. It is not. But there are plenty of arguments and criticisms flying around here (for good or for worse). And if I'm not mistaken, that is the point of the blog.

  20. You have to love the anonymity of the internet. People can say whatever outrageous shit they want because they know they will not actually have to defend it in person. I can see how the hand written post it's can be mis-construed as they were not approved. Anyone can write whatever they think is accurate and it may not be positive or helpful. I think people just like to bitch and this is another classic example. The first poster had a bad week and decided to take it out on a program with very honorable intentions. God forbid there is a little more positivity in a world that is plagued by stories of hate, violence, rape, abuse etc.

  21. OP here – just to clarify my point (since some of you are missing it):

    The messages on the post-its are ineffectively treating the symptoms of a major societal problem. Here’s why:

    OB wants to emphasize the existence and significance of inner beauty, however, messages like "you have a pretty face!" or "smile! It's your best feature" explicitly reference outward traits, dissolve anything unique or special about the individual, and promote the idea, "I'm not as bad looking as I think", instead of reminding one that one’s unique internal qualities such as talents, ability to love/spread joy, one's creative spirit/essence, etc., are all more important than their facial features could ever be. Thus, I find the messages to be nothing but simplistic, surface level, inadequate attempts to make people feel better about their looks, when looks shouldn't even be recognized as anything significant in the first place for the purpose of the project. Furthermore, we are adults who may be in need of real psychological help, and if I really believed that I was not beautiful the way I was to the extent that I began starving myself, I don't think a generic, impersonal message on a post-it would really convince me otherwise.

    Now, to address the personal judgments. Some think I am having a bad week, am not happy with myself, and am striking down this project out of my own pessimism, hatred, anger, and ignorance. These speculations probably stem from biases about OB. My real problem is this:
    1) Most of us do not understand how to properly fight the perils of being subjected to our harmful materialistic, superficial society, and the weakest subjects fight by succumbing to eating disorders and such.
    2)I fail to see how the post-its really help those who are so weak get any closer to understanding how to fight these perils in a healthy way.
    3) I find the distribution of mass generic compliments to be a lame and poorly thought out strategy that fails to really help people begin overcoming the material world and start gaining the strength necessary to truly accept oneself and make positive improvements in one’s life.
    4) Messages like, “you are beautiful just the way you are!” or "love yourself!" can't be introductory ideas if they are meant to be truly uplifting. And if the notes in fact are meant to plant an idea in one's head, and not necessarily make one believe it automatically, then I wonder how that idea could possibly be expected to flourish at all considering its lack of substantiation paired with the magnitude of strong, opposing, and invasive ideas currently featured in mainstream society.

    My advice to OB is to either quit it with the post-its, or come up with real insightful, inspiring messages instead of cliche bullshit. There are plenty of intellectual and profound messages that have come from people all over the world throughout history that could help lift one's spirit and serve as strong starting points for feeling good about life and who one is, inside and outside. I believe taking more time to make the messages more substantial and meaningful would result in a much greater positive impact and be much more beneficial to readers who fail to find meaning in the plethora of over-used crappy messages currently being delivered.

    So I am not trying to strike down the OB, nor am I pissed off at or threatened by the project. I am pointing out that the post-it method is idiotic because I find it to be ineffective in the long run and childish overall. I don’t see how the post-its actually serve to raise awareness of the problems we are facing, or how they do anything to help those who are most in need.

  22. well, if anything at least I know that someone loves me as I found a note that said Jesus loved me today in the UC. I feel special now and my depression and guilt have been uplifted as I feel less guilty about that 90 calorie chewy bar I ate in between meals. ALL Thanks to jesus. PRAISE JESUS my lord and SAVIOR. JESSSSSahahahahahahahahahahahahahaus!

  23. While OB personally did not do anything special for me (I felt like it missed the genuineness mark), I think it's a wonderful first step and at least effort to help people realize their inner beauty and immense worth. I agree with the original poster that the post-its with superficial comments were a little hypocritical, but the fact that someone even wrote a post-it is special. They took time out of their day to write a little phrase in hopes that it will brighten someone's day. I even wrote one because I was hoping that someone might see it and be reminded of their inner worth (yes, I wrote one that did not have anything to do with outward beauty). While the true genuineness of some of the phrases (the ones written about outward beauty) that were written may have been absent, the good intentions were still there regardless of the specific message written on the post-it.

    And really? Someone is going to bring Jesus into this? And in a disrespectful way? I'm glad to see that those who most often condemn Christianity for being close-minded, condemning, and non-accepting of others who do not share the same religious point of view are actually being the disrespectful ones to those who do partake in the Christian worldview. I get it. You don't like Christianity. Fine. That's your decision and seeing as I respect you as a person I accept you and am not going to try and change your mind by arguing with you. What I will do is ask you to at least respect others who do participate in Christianity by not mocking us or our savior. i'm sorry, I know this is off topic, but it extremely frustrating and honestly is hurtful to be so blatantly disrespected.

  24. 1) Intentions aren't worth shit. Especially when we're dealing with really significant problems here. And really... if all it takes for some people is a little post-it note with a lame generic message written on it to brighten their day (whatever the hell that entails), then good for them. They probably don't have much going on in their lives (or in their heads for that matter) so more power to the simple minded blissful idiots out there who buy this crap.

    2) Anon 2:00, after that spiel, I wouldn't be surprised if it was YOU who wrote the religious messages on some of the post-its. Which, by the way, is the reason Jesus was brought into this in the first place, since you seem to have missed that. Yeah, someone who is religious might have great intentions by putting something like, "Jesus loves you!" or some Bible verse on a post-it, but that can really get under the skin of quite a few people believe it or not, and frankly, I'd probably find it annoying as hell. In fact, I find most Christians to be annoying as hell. They whine for respect when people make fun of them, but they think and act like children, and baa like sheep all day long. It's time to stop evading the real world!!

  25. Oh shut your pie hole 6:45. Just because some people have found the Lord and praise Him, you don't have to get all huffy. So what if Christians put Bible verses on post-it notes too? The point is to bring people closer to Christ, to the Truth. If you don't like them, ignore them. They are only post-it notes, even though they could become a world of difference for someone, and that is why they are made.

  26. I also find the OB post-its annoying, but the general idea behind it is ok. They have always had a very superficial/cheap sound to them, but hey; that's just my opinion.

    The one thing I do hate about the way OB works (or at least for our/my former campus) is that the university buildings and RA's all get a pamphlet at the beginning of the month. They are then told what to write on the post-its, how many to make, and where to put them (yes it is all written out, in a bullet-pointed list). They are also directed to an internet site (different than the normal one for the org, for "facilitators") where all the same things (in the same little neat list) are said.

    Putting these post-its up are actually a REQUIREMENT for the university and for all the RA's in the residence halls . . . so the saddest part is that most of the messages are just generic and were put up by people just doing it cause its their job . . . they may not care about it or even have really put thought into what they are doing.

    Now this may not be true for everyone that did it . . . but the last year I was an RA (2-3 years ago now I think) was only the second year of OB in the dorms . . . and to be honest most of us did them all in about 5 minutes, wrote down what we were told and just stuck them in the bathrooms so we could check it off on our list (our hall directors even walked into the bathrooms to make sure we did our job). Its a sad but very true fact.

    Like I said before though . . if this junk really helped someone, then that's awesome! But most of these messages sound just as cheap as the true "feelings" put behind writing them

  27. More religious post-it notes! They are so uplifting to me!