We've all got our body hang-ups. On a bad day, mine make me want to crawl into bed and sob. I've got an inexplicable dimple in my forehead. Calves that will never be as long and slim as I'd like. Skin that tends to misbehave even though I'm in my twenties. The latter had me feeling highly self-conscious one day a few weeks ago. I was suffering from a breakout thanks to a cold that involved blowing my nose, thereby irritating the skin around my philtrum (the groove above your top lip!) Yeah, I know, sexy. Feeling rubbish, I'd opted for comfy (read: scruffy and old) clothes, and hadn't bothered to put on any makeup or wash my hair, let alone run a brush through it. London, unlike me, was on top form, so during my lunch break, I went outside to photograph the surrounding area on my phone (as above!) When an old lady approached me, I thought she'd ask if I wanted her to take my picture for me - but instead she asked if I would model for her right there and then. I was surprised. And frankly a bit horrified, given my appearance.
I stood there awkwardly as the auntie (who introduced herself as Noriko) snapped away with her manual camera - all the while, telling me how beautiful I looked. And although she was probably being charming to try and get me to open up a little, I couldn't help but feel warm inside. It's so lovely to receive a genuinely nice compliment from a stranger, don't you find? It sounds horribly shallow, but my body image was so low that day that Noriko's comments were exactly the boost I needed. I'm sure I sat up straighter, communicated with my colleagues more boldly and worked harder that afternoon. And it made me think: perhaps if I had more self-confidence, I'd perform like this every day.
This week, Noriko emailed me her photos. In the accompanying message, she told me that she had come to the London Bridge area in order to take photos of the Shard. When she saw me, though, she said that she felt that something 'triggered' in her to ask me to model for her - and was glad that her intuition proved to be right, because she ended up winning a competition run by her photography club using the shots. I know that I will never ever be a model, but thanks to Noriko's kind words, I've definitely been feeling more confident since. Noriko, ありがとうございました ! Though yours was an unpremeditated, random act of kindness, you ended up making me feel so much happier about myself.
I know my body hang-ups can impair my self-confidence - and even my productivity - a lot of the time. So I'd love to know - how do you get over yours (if you have any, that is?)