I was about 12 when some random lad called me this in the hallway at school. I can’t remember if I said anything back to him – I probably just laughed it off.
Cos that’s what I did. Who I was. The funny one. The girl who got on better with the lads than the girls. My jaw always made me feel ugly and not in any way pretty.
And I wasn’t skinny. I wasn’t fat, but I thought I was. Looking back at pictures, I can see that there was nothing wrong with my body as I was growing up. I had amazing curves, wonderful big curly hair, and I looked lovely.
I wish I could go back and talk some sense into my teenage self. Although, I’m not sure how much good it would have done. I told myself I didn’t care about it, but I did.
I talked myself into not being bothered by it. When people would ask, I would brush it off without a care in the world. I forced myself to feel confident and sassy.
But I never quite fit in anywhere. I never had a proper circle of friends to call my own. Societal ‘norms’ would tell me to try and get on with the popular crowd. Dismiss the ‘geeks and freaks’ as weird. It took me being bullied until my last year of high school to realise that this was all bullshit. What a waste of time.
As I got older, I used my sexuality to garner attention, to feel pretty. Not ok.
I hated my smile.
But I would never EVER tell anyone that. I’m the funny one, the confident and sassy one. I don’t have insecurities. I’m the one who didn’t really want a boyfriend or any romantic attention from guys. Nope, not me.
Except I did. I wanted to feel pretty, to feel wanted. I wasn’t confident. I had insecurities coming out of my ears. But man, was I good at pretending all of that wasn’t true. And as I look back, it seems that the way I feel about my jaw, and my face, has fueled the way I feel about myself in general.
I didn’t realise how good I was at faking confidence until it became more and more apparent that I would need an operation. And that the operation would change the way I look. Change my jaw.
All of a sudden I realised that I wanted to look different. I had always wanted to look different, but would never let myself admit it. But now I had to admit it.
I’m 31 years old and I’m only just starting to feel confident in myself. The sudden rise of the body positive movement has had a massive affect on how I see myself. I wish there was more of this when I was growing up.