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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Operation Beautiful: Schools help with self image

  • One of the leading causes of depression in teen girls is low self-esteem. A first year teacher here at Wellington High School is doing something positive about it. Miranda Bradshaw, high school girls' coach and health teacher, working with her freshman girls, spearheaded Wellington's Operation Beautiful.
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  • By KIM HARRIGER
    The Wellington Daily News
    One of the leading causes of depression in teen girls is low self-esteem. A first year teacher here at Wellington High School is doing something positive about it. Miranda Bradshaw, high school girls' coach and health teacher, working with her freshman girls, spearheaded Wellington's Operation Beautiful.
    "So many days I would sit (in my office) and girls would stand in front of the mirror and tear themselves down with negative self-talk. I would walk down the hallways and see beautiful faces walk with their heads down. I had had enough!"
    She decided that the girls needed to hear how beautiful they were each day.
    Bradshaw researched on the internet and found Operation Beautiful, it paired perfectly with her unit on good mental and emotional health.
    Further research turned into "No Makeup Mondays" along with pink t-shirts to support breast cancer awareness, and supportive sticky notes.
    All teachers want to make an impact on students, Bradshaw is hoping this goes far beyond Wellington schools and reaches out into the community and surrounding communities. "I love it! I would love for it to be a tradition and every (school) year has ideas to contribute to the month of October. Making it a month for girls to feel beautiful in their own skin."
    It's not only girls that are on board, parents flooded Bradshaw's inbox with support and praise, "The next day I had an overwhelming amount of emails in my inbox. The girls had apparently gone home and told their moms and dads about the project.
    Their parents thought it was awesome and sent me wonderful emails sharing their thoughts and support." All girls were very excited about getting started, asking why it had to end in October, Bradshaw's response, "It doesn't."
    Everywhere you look, there are sticky notes plastered, praising the beauty of every girl, no matter size, shape, color, or imperfections. Girls are walking taller and an additional unexpected side effect is that the girls are working together, supporting each other, and building bonds.
    Speaking with eighth grader Jenna Rausch specifically about "No Makeup Monday" she stated, "I love it! It's really great. I think girls in middle school try to wear too much makeup. They worry so much about what everyone else thinks and I think girls shouldn't want to be like anyone else, and just be themselves."
    None of this could have been possible without the amazing community support of area businesses. As of last week, donations totaled over $4,200 and more money was coming in to support this cause. Sunflower Custom T's (downtown Wellington) ensured that each and every female student in USD 353 will receive a free pink "I am beautiful" t-shirt. Any adults or brothers wanting the same t-shirt to help support this movement can order them for $5 each. The ladies at Sunflower Custom T's even opened a bank account at Bank of Commerce, in the name of Wellington's Operation Beautiful, to help fuel the momentum. Dena Martens, Tracy Goodrum, and Coni Adams have all been hugely helpful to Bradshaw's efforts.
    Page 2 of 2 - Bradshaw's students have made presentations to promote Operation Beautiful to younger girls, and are bringing the message to as many girls as they can. You are beautiful, and it's inside that matters most.
    Bradshaw wants the girls to take away positives, "I see so many talented girls and very smart girls who let their view of themselves stand in the way of their goals, with this project I hope it sparks something in their heads that forces that negative view out and puts nothing but positive in. I hope the girls continue to live by this project, by uplifting one another and spreading the beauty we each have."

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