Girl Talk

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Tonight’s Operation Beautiful presentation was so much fun.  :)  The event was held in a renovated dairy barn in Fort Mill, South Carolina and more than 120 people attended, including lots of moms and their daughters.


It was such a scenic setting, complete with horses and hay.  🙂


There were four presentations.  The first was on adolescent skin care; the second was on bullying; and the third was one on Internet safety.  I was last!



I talked about what makes a girl or woman really beautiful.  I asked the girls if they thought their moms were beautiful, and they all cheered, “YES!”  And the moms all blushed and smiled.  :)  And then I asked why their moms were beautiful and they all described how kind or thoughtful their moms are to them.  Then we talked about commercials and how marketers try to make us feel un-beautiful so we buy their products.


I brought in several examples of Photoshopping so I could show the girls how the images they see are not real.  The girls had a lot of fun identifying the differences between the real images and the fake images.



It makes me sick that they photoshop teenage celebrities.  Well, it makes me sick that marketers photoshop anybody!


While the other presenters talked, I ate some appetizers and desserts:


Other eats of the day included:  Greek yogurt, raspberries, raw oatmeal, and pumpkin loaf… it was awesome.  More yogurt bowls should include a thick slice of cake.


A PB and jelly sandwich:


And bread + minestrone soup.


Lots of refueling still to do tomorrow!  It’s hard to do it all in one day following a grueling 20 miler. 


PS – I’ve mentioned how I’m the world’s worst dresser when it comes to workout clothes, but Nicole has proved it by illustrating my outfit today in stick figure form.

caitlin 1

You need to read her blog… not just for the drawings.  It’s awesome overall.


“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”



  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 8, 2010, 10:14 pm

    Is that a warm PB&J? That oozing PB is total food porn.

    What a busy day! I’d be beat! Hope you get some time to relax!

  • Angela October 8, 2010, 10:23 pm

    Wow! Those photos really show how much the media can mislead and take advantage of young girls. Great job on presenting this information to your audience.
    Any tips for effective public speaking, making a good presentation, or avoiding getting overly nervous? (Definitely not my forte) Thanks!

    • Caitlin October 8, 2010, 10:24 pm

      My advice is don’t let yourself get nervous. I know that sounds stupid but the truth is getting nervous is within your control. Just remember you are excited 🙂 And focus on conveying that excitement to your audience. Find ways for them to interact with you and each other too.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 8, 2010, 10:30 pm

    LOVE that quote! And I bet your speech was amazing!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef October 8, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Looks like a great presentation! Glad you could be a part of something like that.

  • Wei-Wei October 8, 2010, 10:41 pm

    Congratulations on acing that speech… AND that run this morning. I’m sure they loved you today 🙂

  • Michelle October 8, 2010, 10:41 pm

    hahaha I’m awful at dressing in workout clothes. I’m all about old college t-shirts and whatever shorts I find first.

    • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) October 8, 2010, 11:21 pm

      Me too – I’m all about the old college tees for my workouts. I need to get my hands on some wicking tops!

  • claire October 8, 2010, 10:42 pm

    You are so inspiring Caitlin! Sounds like a great event! It really is sad to read (and see) about all the photoshopping.

  • Melissa October 8, 2010, 10:43 pm

    What a great event! I like the engaging of the kids and their moms. That is the big buzz word in the world of teaching. Are the students engaged? Well Done Caitlin!

  • Kristina @ spabettie October 8, 2010, 10:44 pm

    ha! I recognize those shorts!! 🙂 I love her blog.

  • diana October 8, 2010, 10:57 pm

    cute artwork!!

    i reallly loveeee your OB!!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 8, 2010, 11:04 pm

    That sounds awesome. I like how you did the photoshop/non-edited comparison. I;m sure the girls liked it as well.

    Also, that barn is SO cool.

  • Amber K October 8, 2010, 11:07 pm

    I wish more young girls could hear from someone like you! For some reason it feels like with each new generation the bullying gets worse and the self esteem of young girls nosedives.

  • Sara October 8, 2010, 11:13 pm

    I agree that no one should be photoshopped. But teens? That’s just gross. What are we teaching our kids? 🙁

  • carlee October 8, 2010, 11:23 pm

    I wish they would stop photoshopping as well. People look so much prettier when they actually look like people!
    And wow! You make a simple pb and j look amazing with the peanut butter all melty down it;) lol

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) October 8, 2010, 11:49 pm

    What a beautiful setting for the event! Yogurt bowls with cake–yum!

  • Lana October 8, 2010, 11:53 pm

    What an awesome day! and a gorgeous venue! I’m sure you were able to reach so many girls…kick up your feet and have a fabulous weekend!!

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 9, 2010, 12:03 am

    I love the illustrations 🙂 But honestly, it’s so great what you are doing for these girls. Keep up all your hard work!

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 9, 2010, 12:15 am

    You and I have the same wardrobe 🙂

    Sounds like the presentation went great — that photoshopping is ridiculous.

  • eatmovelove October 9, 2010, 12:19 am

    First, I have to look for that pumpkin loaf recipe now through your blog…anything resembling cake goes down my “hatch” 😉

    Second, I love that quote. Wow. Thank you for that…something I needed to read and reflect on right now…”take yourself out of it…”…if I know something isn’t working for me with my job – no, I can’t just up and quit the profession – no. I have too much debt and worry…

    BUT maybe I can get a job in the profession that won’t make me feel nervous or inadequate as hell – even if i still hate that job – but the less pressure would be helpful…

  • Toto October 9, 2010, 12:35 am

    Sound like you gave a great presentation today! I believe those young girls would be inspired by you.
    Have a fabulous weekend.

  • Marina October 9, 2010, 1:39 am

    You are doing such an amazing thing, talking to those girls, in such vulnerable period of life. I believe every single girl who was there listening you, believes she’s beautiful

    • Caitlin October 9, 2010, 6:58 am

      i sure hope so!

  • Jaclyn October 9, 2010, 3:26 am

    That’s crazy that they photo edit even such young girls as Miley Cirus. I bet it was amazing talking to that group of girls tonight – wish I could have been there! You are doing some great things with OB, I love to hear about them!

    Congrats, on your 20 miles today, that’s soooooo many 😉
    Have a great weekend!

  • Lindsay October 9, 2010, 5:08 am

    We went to an event last fall (I think) in that same dairy barn! So gorgeous 🙂

    I love that you took in the photos of photoshopped celebs, I think it’s so great for young girls to see that it’s not reality. Kudos to you! 🙂

    Have a great weekend

  • Christine October 9, 2010, 5:59 am

    As a mother of a teenage daughter(13 going on 25)I’m so glad that women like you are taking the time to talk about issues like photoshopping.

    It’s insane the pressure that young girls are put under in order to conform to a completely unattainable standard of physical perfection. Hmm I better stop there, I feel a rant coming on 🙂

    Maybe that could be the theme of your next book 🙂 I bet loads of mums would buy it for their daughters.

    • Caitlin October 9, 2010, 6:58 am

      I think you might have a good book idea there 🙂

      you guys should do operation beautiful notes together!

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini October 9, 2010, 6:30 am

    Thanks 🙂 wish I could have seen your presentation, sounds like you were awesome!

  • Ramona October 9, 2010, 7:00 am

    That cake looks delish!
    Have you thought of turning Operation Beautiful into a non-profit or something so that other people can do these talks around the country (globe)? Once the quality control issues are ironed out, I’m sure it would catch on and spread quickly across the country.

    • Caitlin October 9, 2010, 7:04 am

      People do their own OB-ish talks to their church groups, etc and I don’t mind if they use OB as the example 🙂

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 9, 2010, 7:55 am

    Sounds like a great talk!! Yeah, the whole photoshopping thing is ridiculous. It’s one thing to remove a pimple, but it’s entirely another to change them into a glossy, eerily perfect version of themselves. I think it’s important that younger girls know that the people on magazines definitely don’t actually look like that!!

  • Camille October 9, 2010, 8:47 am

    Congrats! I would love to attend one of your talks so try and make it out to Oregon one of these days!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 9, 2010, 8:54 am

    It sounds like your talk went so well. They sound like they were a fun audience! 😀

    Ugh the photoshopping thing makes me so mad. And even though as a teenager, I knew that pictures in magazines were altered, I still compared myself to them. I would love to see a magazine do an issue completely free of retouching!

  • Tina October 9, 2010, 8:57 am

    I’m sure you did a great job! I bet seeing those images really stuck with the girls. Many of them at that age probably would never even consider an image being altered. Hope you have a fantastic weekend. 🙂

  • whitney October 9, 2010, 9:00 am

    wow that pumpkin cake looks to die for. I agree with you on the yogurt bowl + piece of cake 🙂

    For some reason your pbj looks extra goood…. that drawing is so cute I’m a horrible dresser too. I accept it.

  • Katie October 9, 2010, 9:00 am

    AHH! I love the dairy barn! A good friend of mine got married there this past spring and the whole place is gorgeous. Sounds like your event was fantastic!! I’m sure the girls loved the photoshopped pictures!

  • Amanda Davis October 9, 2010, 9:05 am

    I hate the way marketers manipulate people into buying products as well. I actually got my bachelors in business marketing but am getting my masters in an education field because I hated the manipulation involved in marketing and couldn’t in good conscious pursue that career.

  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama October 9, 2010, 9:25 am

    You are doing such a wonderful thing. What a great idea to show the girls the difference between photoshopped and non-photoshopped pictures! Every girl needs to see that and realize what they see in the magazines is NOT real. Thanks for your dedication to such an important issue.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) October 9, 2010, 9:27 am

    I think it’s so awesome what you’re doing, Caitlin! I wish I would have a talk like that during my teenage years, as I’m sure many women do. Keep spreading the positive body image issue! 😀

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) October 9, 2010, 9:47 am

    YES, it took me years to realize just how badly magazine images are Photoshopped. I wish someone had pointed that out to me in middle and high school. I mean, you technically know that pics are Photoshopped, but I think most people don’t realize the extent.

  • Katie @ peacebeme October 9, 2010, 10:16 am

    Thank you for including the photoshopped magazine lessons. That is my biggest pet peeve! Even worse than young girls comparing themselves to magazine pictures is comparing themselves to FAKE ones! So many young girls don’t even realize that is happening. I told my middle-school age cousins about that recently and they were shocked. Thanks for teaching them all the other lessons as well, you do great work!

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life October 9, 2010, 10:23 am

    I am so happy that you brought in those photoshopped images! Young girls need to know what they see on TV and in ads is a lie. These girls are trying to achieve looks that even celebrities don’t have naturally. Its important to remind young girls that beauty comes in many shapes and forms and that everyone is beautiful.

  • Little Bookworm October 9, 2010, 10:48 am

    Congratulations on the presentation!

  • Diana October 9, 2010, 11:11 am

    I think I’ve been to a couple weddings at that barn place! 🙂 Missed you last night! When will we see you again???

    • Caitlin October 9, 2010, 11:16 am

      i hope you have a fun birthday party!!!! are you going on monday? i am!

      • Diana October 9, 2010, 11:35 am

        Thank you!! And yes! I’ll see you there! 🙂 Yay!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 9, 2010, 12:31 pm

    I’m glad the presentation went well! The peanut butter oozing out of that PB&J looks heavenly. I know what I will be having for lunch now!

  • Heather October 9, 2010, 2:42 pm

    I love how the room is decorated, so fun! I, too love looking at photoshopepd and original pictures. Makes me feel better about myself haha! I am sure you did a great job!

  • Laurie October 9, 2010, 3:43 pm

    Caitlin- Will you be speaking at all in the DC area? I would love to hear you and be involved in one of these events being the mom of a 9 year old girl…..NO PHOTO SHOPPING!!! BOO!!!
    My daughter would really benefit from hearing this.

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