About 30 students learned about the definition of beauty and the power of anonymous notes at the Operation Beautiful Forum on Wednesday night in Anderson Hall.
The forum was presented by the Women’s Leadership Council and Alpha Kappa Delta Phi.
Operation Beautiful, a Web site and movement started in June 2009, encourages people to post inspirational notes in public places for other people to find, said founder Caitlin Boyle.
“Beauty is deeper than just what you see in the mirror,” Boyle said. “It’s how you feel about yourself inside.”
After having a bad day last year, the 25-year-old wanted to do something uplifting for someone else, she said. She found a small piece of paper in her purse and used it to write an inspirational message.
“I wrote, ‘You are beautiful,’ on it and posted it on the mirror in a public bathroom,” Boyle said. “Then I took a picture of the note and put it on my blog.”
Two days later, her e-mail was flooded with at least 50 messages from women responding to the Post-it post.
She received messages from women living in New York, California and Canada. She also got a response from a female soldier fighting in Iraq.
“It started from just a random moment of inspiration, but then it spread like wildfire,” Boyle said.
Bowie Stephens, a member of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi and a public relations senior, said the forum sent out a positive message for women.
“It’s okay to be yourself, and women need to know and believe that,” she said.
Karim Hirani, a UF freshman, said his perspective about beauty had definitely been changed.
“I had no idea that 99 percent of magazine photos were altered using Photoshop,” he said.
“Operation Beautiful: The Book” will be released to regular bookstores in August. It will be a compilation of 125 notes and tips from women of all types and backgrounds.