Someone recently commented on one of my Instagram selfies saying that I have an incredible jawline. Now, I cannot confirm for certain whether I do or do not have an incredible jawline. What I can confirm however is that if I do, this was the first time in my whole pudgy-faced life that anyone had ever noticed and pointed it out to me.
For years, I’ve been looking in the mirror at this same face, each day becoming more disappointed at how oddly round and boring my facial bone structure is, and yet there I was: staring at my mobile, jaw hitting the floor, receiving the mother-of-all Insta-compliments.
On another occasion not long ago, a close friend of mine stopped by while I was getting ready to go out. As I chopped and changed between outfits, swiftly pulling dresses over my head and jeans to my ankles like this was an ordinary thing to do with an audience, my friend said one of the craziest things: “You have the perfect figure”.
Having struggled immensely to accept any kind of body-related compliment, or even to place the word ‘like’ before any part of my body at any point in my life, this seemed completely absurd. Did she really mean me?
Me, who at the age of 11 told my parents I was on a diet because I was too fat. Me, who at the age of 16 lost two stone in a matter of months because I feared my appearance. Me, who still to this day stares silently at other women totally transfixed by how perfect their bodies are in my eyes. But that’s just it…
Whether it’s fear of embarrassment or just an inability to find the right words, we’ve become a nation of people who often think how amazing something, or someone, is but rarely express these emotions aloud. I cannot even count the times I’ve internally complimented someone’s clothing, appearance or talents, but never physically followed through with the action. But why?
Being complimented on my body and on my (questionably) good jawline got me thinking: if someone (apart from my mum – as much as I love you, you know we never really listen) had just told me out loud that I looked absolutely fine all those years ago, perhaps I wouldn’t have lost so many tears behind closed doors.
Perhaps all those people in the world who seriously struggle to accept what they were blessed with in life could finally lose their worries; boosting someone’s confidence may not seem like the equivalent of saving their life but honestly, it could be.
Thinking that her new outfit really suits her? Just say it. That trimming his beard was a smart move? Just say it. That they look super healthy these days? Just say it. That you wish you had her figure? Just say it.
It only takes one breath. It only takes a few words. But those measly few seconds that you would have probably just maintained as your own thoughts could be the reason someone you know is able to finally set aside their insecurities, finally smile and finally take an entirely fresh look at an entirely new life.
Want to help someone you know today? All you have to do is #JustSayIt.
Featured image: Evan/ Flickr.