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Girls at Central Hardin High School didn’t have to look in the mirror one day this past week to know they were beautiful. In fact, they couldn’t.
One of the school restroom mirrors was plastered with lyrics from the band One Direction insisting the reader was beautiful for reasons that had nothing to do with a looking glass.
Glendalesenior Jessie Key and Elizabethtown junior Amanda Sankey have joined with other members of their newspaper class to promote Operation Beautiful in their school.
The effort is driven by www.operationbeautful.com, which seeks to end negative talk and self image.
The site and related books encourage participants to leave positive notes for themselves and others to change negative talk to positive thoughts and feelings.
Sankey said the class embraced the idea when a teacher heard about the movement and brought it to the newspaper teacher’s attention.
“Their goal is to try to uplift girls and just make them feel better about themselves,” she said. “Anybody can do this.”
Sankey wrote a piece for the March issue of the school paper explaining the movement and asking her peers to leave positive notes all over the school to brighten their classmates’ days.
The piece also announced Operation Beautiful Spirit Week was being organized at the school to promote the movement’s ideas.
That event kicked off this last week with a dress up day Monday and a dress down day Tuesday.
Students’ ideas about what constitutes dressed up varied from jeans to suits. The point was that they felt good.
The dress down day asked students to dress as casually as they pleased and come in with no makeup to remind themselves they’re still beautiful, even without nice clothes or foundation.
Jessie embraced the movement and thought her peers embraced the idea, too.
“I thought it was cool because I think there’s a really big confidence issue in girls,” she said.
Confident people can stand up for what they believe in and won’t put up with significant others who don’t treat them well, Jessie said.
Too many girls get nervous and think they’re being judged, she said.
“It’s a lot easier when you can breathe and realize that nobody has you under a magnifying glass like you would yourself,” she said.
Wednesday was be yourself day. Students came in tutus, artistically decorated jeans and other articles of clothing.
CHHS members were asked Thursday to write positive, anonymous letters to two people.
The week ended Friday with a call for students to wear white T-shirts on which classmates and staff could write positive messages with markers.
Throughout the week, sticky notes popped up in unexpected places declaring the reader’s hair looked good, that the reader should skip working out to hang out with her little sister and other positive messages.
The girls hope the message of the week continues throughout the year, possibly with a monthly day when girls don’t wear makeup.
They also hope notes keep appearing throughout the school reminding everyone there how beautiful they are.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories from the Heartland appears Mondays in The News-Enterprise.