At school I was always a “middley” as I used to call it-until The Inbetweeners came along and ruined that! ( can you imagine a TV show called ‘The middleys’, doesn’t quite have the same ring does it?) I was friends with the “cool” popular people but I was also friends with the quieter more reserved ones too.
I’ll be honest I didn’t have much confidence growing up, I had terrible teeth ( the worst I’ve ever seen) and a big bumpy nose. I wouldn’t say I was bullied but people definitely used to say mean things to me- I remember once I’d had my hair highlighted and was feeling really good about myself and a girl said to me ” Yeah your hair looks good, but you’re still ugly” .I had another boy in Science who used to tell me I was ugly everyday- kids can be so cruel!!!
Above: My Year 11 Yearbook Photo.
I didn’t let that stop me though. I was in every school production, I ran the 800m on Sports Day and I also ended up being a prefect. I always used to push my self-confidence issues to the back of my mind and throw myself into everything I could. However, they were still there, tapping me on the shoulder every now and again-like at school discos when everyone else danced with boys and I was left side-stepping at the side thinking ” why aren’t they picking me? It must be because of how I look”.
Eventually in year 11 I got my braces and almost over night I started to feel like a different person. I felt like people would actually look at me and not at my teeth and I thought boys might actually notice me now… And I was right I went to college and I was able to re-invent myself a little bit and boys actually did like me! I vividly remember having my 18th birthday party downing Apple Sourz shots and “pulling” 7 different boys! I was loving life!
The whole time though there was something else niggling at me and that was my nose. I hated it, I hated pictures being taken from my side profile I hated sitting on the bus in traffic because people would see my huge hooter, I actually used to wake up every day wishing I looked like someone else. This went on for years. Again I’d go out with my friends on a Friday and Saturday night and always be the “ugly ducking”, the one that didn’t pull and the one that was left side stepping at the side once again. I even over-heard people talking about it at the bar a few times as well.
Finally I decided something had to be done-I was getting a nose job! I did LOTS of research into different surgeons, hospitals etc and finally settled on Transform and a surgeon called Dr Lahoud who specialises in noses.
It was literally the BEST decision I had ever made! I woke up in recovery and although groggy I felt amazing! I had done it, I had a brand new nose and I couldn’t be happier. Even when the cast came off a week later and it was swollen I could see that my nose looked exactly how I wanted it to and I felt like new me!
Above: Me straight after the op. Above: My before and after’s
The confidence didn’t appear overnight though, it wasn’t as though I started strutting around thinking I should be on Britain’s Next Top Model, I had wobbles, I had down days and I still do,I’m only human after all.
What I have come to realise at 30 is that this is it, this is me, this is who I am and whilst I may not be perfect I really am happy being me. Things that may have bothered me at 18/19 are no longer significant, if people call me ‘ugly’ now- and they still do occasionally, its water off a ducks back. If you don’t like me for me or who I am, well then I say “screw you!”-only joking I’m not really that mean, but you get the gist.
There isn’t a magic pill or potion that you can take called ‘ Immediate Confidence’ and life isn’t like the Lynx advert where you spray yourself and straight away have ladies (or men) pawing all over you, but it is definitely something that grows with age. You become more sure of your decisions and you develop a self belief that perhaps wasn’t there when you were at school.
As cliché as it sounds confidence definitely comes from within and to quote a brilliant man Mr Christian Louboutin “You need to believe in yourself and what you do. Be tenacious and genuine.” I think if you stick to that you can’t go far wrong…..