Let’s get our Tween on!


I am so excited to be speaking at this event today.  The room is packed with tweens and their mentors (parents).


My presentation is for the parents, and I go on stage at 10:45.  I’m speaking to the parents about Operation Beautiful and issues that impact their girls, such as body confidence and Photoshopping.


First things first, I met and talked to all the girls!  I told them about Operation Beautiful and they wrote their own notes, which I then spotted in the bathroom!


So I finally found an Operation Beautiful note of my very own.  🙂


There are so many inspiring tweens out there. Please don’t think that all girls are naughty and mean like on the TV shows!  Overwhelmingly, they want to improve our world.  These girls created their own site called We Stop Hate to fight bullying and discrimination.


I ate breakfast while chatting to parents and kids. I snagged a banana and Powerbar from the freebie table:


And now I’ve temporarily snuck away from the action to have a coffee and fruit from a cute corner cafe.


Do you know any inspiring tweens or teens?  How do they inspire you?



  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 10, 2010, 10:31 am

    My younger sister was definitely inspiring when I was in college and she was just entering high school. She has this way of speaking her mind and standing up to others that I really admired. She wasn’t afraid to disagree and discuss. All at the age of 12? 13? And I’m still working on building my confidence to that level!

    Good luck at your speech today Caitlin!

  • Vicky @ eat live spin October 10, 2010, 10:32 am

    My cousin is 13 now… he lives in the South of France. He is such a smart and thoughtful kid. He speaks 5 languages, cycles over 50 miles a week with his dad, skate boards… and the best part is… he loves his 7 year old twin siblings… he hugs them and stands up for them, he’s the best.

  • eatmovelove October 10, 2010, 10:34 am

    Oh wow – that is so inspiring to see those girls with your book! Truly making a difference. Especially in light of all this bullying coming forth, your message is strong and clear!

    I hope you are proud of yourself! (…and that’s not meant in the sarcastic way that angry moms usually phrase it LOL!!);)

  • Little Bookworm October 10, 2010, 10:41 am

    Hope the presentation goes well Caitlin! 🙂

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 10, 2010, 10:44 am

    Looks like so much fun! I’m sure the girls will appreciate you being there! I love that they are posting operation beautiful notes there! : )

  • Lauren @ Team Giles October 10, 2010, 10:53 am

    Caitlin this is by far the coolest thing ever! You are such an inspiration to those girls. I wish I went to something like this when I was younger, I had such horrible self esteem, hated my body, my looks, thought I was stupid, list goes on. To have had a book or inspiring notes like you’ve created would have been amazing! When my niece gets a little older, I’m buying her your book.

  • Crunchy Granola Gal October 10, 2010, 11:00 am

    I work with teens at a public high school in NYC and am inspired by just how accepting they are of difference – different backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations, etc. – and how their ability to embrace those unlike themselves harbors a more tolerant youth culture.

    We’re doing some workshops later in the semesters with just the girls, and am hoping to touch upon self-esteem and body image – might share some Operation Beautiful notes/ ideas with them!

  • Wei-Wei October 10, 2010, 11:04 am

    I’ll be honest, I don’t like the term “tween” at all. Where I’m from (my school environment, at least) it’s used as a derogatory word. But I think that they do represent a lot of the girls we used to be, and I love how much they adore you! I hope you’re having fun 🙂

  • Melissa @ Run with Needles October 10, 2010, 11:08 am

    This is so awesome. I so wish there had been something like this when I was younger. I struggled so much with my body image and fitting in that I always felt like an outsider. Your Operation Beautiful posts always bring a smile to my face!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 10, 2010, 11:11 am

    It is SO AMAZING that you’re spreading the OB message to younger girls. I think stopping fat talk BEFORE it comes overwhelming in high school is so important!! Good luck with your presentation!!

  • Freya October 10, 2010, 11:12 am

    Good luck in the presentation!
    I don’t know any teenagers actually..but my mum works with a lot of inspiring teens, so it’s nice to hear about them 🙂
    Btw – I ran my first ever 20miles today and it was great! Your post helped so much 🙂

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies October 10, 2010, 11:30 am

    Amazing – I think it’s such a good thing …especially with everything that’s happened recently with the deaths and bullying…is that there are tweens/teens out there who want to change the world for the better!

  • Michele October 10, 2010, 11:32 am

    What a great event; high fives for ANY young person that stands up to bullying!!! Our oldest was bullied in 5th grade – think physically hurt – not bad, but enough that this momma came unglued. Thank goodness the principal & counselor stepped in immediately!

    YOU GO GIRLS; stand up for what is right and what you believe in!!!

  • grocery goddess jen October 10, 2010, 11:35 am

    Good luck Caitlin! What you’re doing is so important.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. October 10, 2010, 11:37 am

    I mentor a group of high school freshman and they never cease to amaze me…the way they care for each other and their friends, the questions they ask. They are wonderful and inspire me constantly!

  • carlee October 10, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Wow! This is so exciting! You are such a great example to these teens and all teens!
    Yes! There are some good ‘tweens’ out there fortunately who want to change our world!
    I am so excited for you to be speaking at all these events. Its wonderful what your doing!!

  • Kaci October 10, 2010, 12:06 pm

    How exciting! I bet they were just as thrilled as you were to be there. XOXOX

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 10, 2010, 12:19 pm

    We have a cute girl in our church who’s parents are addicts and dealers. She comes to church each week because she doesn’t want to end up in that cycle and tells all her friends that they can be different.

    Giving a positive influence at that age makes a world of difference!

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet October 10, 2010, 12:31 pm

    what a great event! so glad to hear about those inspirational young girls

  • Evan Thomas October 10, 2010, 1:02 pm

    I don’t know how much she’s inspired me, but I think Taylor Swift is one of the coolest teens in media(is she still a teen even?). She’s always been true to herself and has done a great job of not letting fame go to her head.

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 10, 2010, 1:12 pm

    My 14 year-old sister is a huge inspiration to me. She is such a kind and loving person and sees the good in everyone. Watching her really teaches me to be more patient with others and to focus on the positive rather than the negative in every situation. She may be younger than me, but I can truly learn a lot from her.

  • Kelly October 10, 2010, 1:31 pm

    All I know is that the tween time is so hard and I am so happy that you are able to reach out and make a difference to these young girls at such an impressionable time.

  • Heather October 10, 2010, 1:57 pm

    how fun to be able to work with those girls! what a great age!

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 10, 2010, 2:29 pm

    What a wonderful thing to do. This age is so challenging for girls. I remember struggling so much with my confidence and not always feeling comfortable in my own skin. I think Operation Beautiful will be a great thing for tweens. Should be required reading.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life October 10, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Lol @ “get our tween on”!

  • Carly October 10, 2010, 3:26 pm

    My 13 year old cousin and her 10 year old sister inspire me. They are some of the smartest, most outgoing and caring kids I have ever met. They are so driven it’s almost completely intimidating. My 13 year old cousin worked her butt off last year to raise money to go on a trip to China and has been saving up since she was about 4 to someday go to Australia.
    The two of them have created their own mini company, along with their father, to sell cutting boards to one day help pay for college. What youngster even thinks about that? Oh, they do.

  • Sana October 10, 2010, 3:45 pm

    Oh tweens! I feel so old!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 10, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I teach 7th grade and I totally agree with you. Most tweens want to make a positive influence on others, not a negative one. I’ve met so many wonderful 12-14 year olds so far.

    Love that you are a positive influence!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit October 10, 2010, 3:55 pm

    What an awesome event! Wish I had been able to go to something like that when I was younger.

  • Gretchen October 10, 2010, 4:11 pm

    Kids- and I’m including ‘tweens’ and teens in that category- are so great. I know you’ve said that you’ve never really worked with kids before, so I think it’s great that you’re getting some opportunities to work with them now in such a positive context!

    I’ve been doing some substitute teaching while working toward my certification/master’s in elementary ed. The other day, I sat with a fourth-grade class while they ate lunch since I was only with them for the afternoon and had already eaten. One girl started asking me questions about my favorite food and TV channels, and then she told me all about how she likes to watch the Food Network and loves Giada de Laurentiis and wants to go to culinary school.

    I thought it was cool that she already has this idea in the fourth grade, but what really amazed me is that this was not at a privileged school. It’s Title I and 89% of its students are on free or reduced lunch. It broke my heart a little bit that this girl was sitting there telling me these things as she ate her school lunch that is very likely paid for by government funding.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that kids tend to say the things you least expect them to say. They are really all amazing and inspiring at some time, even the “bad kids.” It’s just a matter of finding what they can be amazing and inspiring about, I think.

    Sorry for that very long comment, haha. I just saw the question at the end of the post and got a little carried away.

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 10, 2010, 4:49 pm

    What a wonderful event!!!!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef October 10, 2010, 4:52 pm

    what an awesome event! it’s great how younger kids can be inspiring 🙂

  • Lisa October 10, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Very cool! That’s the age that girls need to learn how to think positive and have a good self image!

  • Marie-JourneyToBodyZen October 10, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I’m so glad these girls have this great event to go to! I could have used something like this during my tween years!!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write October 10, 2010, 5:44 pm

    Congrats! How exciting. I think you are a great role model for young girl (and boys). They are very lucky to have you there.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 10, 2010, 8:33 pm

    That’s so inspiring about those girls starting that site! It’s so sad to hear all these stories in the news lately about teens who have taken their own lives because of bullying. It sounds like what these girls are doing is a great step forward! 😀

  • ashley October 10, 2010, 10:06 pm

    What an amazingly inspirational event! I love it!

  • Laurie October 10, 2010, 11:43 pm

    I am so jealous! I did just google “tween” to see how old they actually were. Wikipedia says 12, I thought there was a range. My daughter is only 9, yay! I have some more time, time for her to still be young and time to get these great conferences going in the D.C. area.
    I know tons of great tweens, I meet them at work where they are my clients and from my kids, and in my neighborhood and I LOVE that we are trying to give them such positive messages.
    Duh, my son is 12…..I am so focused on the girls in relation to your post that I totally forgot I LIVE WITH A TWEEN…he will be 13 next month, so I am not so spacey.

    • Caitlin October 11, 2010, 8:49 am

      I think tween is 8 – 12. 🙂 That’s my personal opinion though. Lots of girls at the event were more like 8 or 9. They are in between!

    • Alina October 11, 2010, 12:56 pm

      Hey! Yup, the conference is actually for a wide range of ages, about 8-14, but then you can be a tween voulnteer. And conferences like these (I’m actually an advisory board member/ reporter for Allykatzz.com) are super-rewarding, and really fun for girls AND moms.

  • Kristy October 11, 2010, 7:58 am

    You have one of the coolest “jobs” – and you are so good at what you do!

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