Justin Baldoni radiates confidence in person. However, as the tall, dark, and handsome actor — who also happens to have flowing hair and six-pack abs — admits, his life hasn’t been as picture-perfect as it might seem. In this case, appearances are very deceiving.
Recently, the star of CW hit Jane the Virgin attended an event in New York City wearing an electric-blue suit with a white pocket square and Oxford shirt that he wore semi-unbuttoned. The bright ensemble, tailored to his body, prompted people to call him “hot,” a “babe,” and “beautiful.”
However, there’s a deeper story behind Baldoni’s outfit choice.
“A few years ago I would’ve never worn a suit this color that had the possibility of making me ‘stand out,'” Baldoni shared in a lengthy Instagram post.
The father of one admitted that throughout his adolescence he was picked on a lot and bulled. “Other kids would talk tons of s*** about me behind my back and others would then go out of their way to make sure I heard it. It was awful. I think I naturally stood out but it was never on purpose.”
Because of the way he was treated in middle and high school, he began to overcompensate by acting overly confident because he felt “so insecure and wanted to be liked so bad.” However, that eventually made things worse.
He began to “dull myself down in new situations so that I would never make anyone else feel ‘less than’ and so that I could blend in more. It was honestly easier to feel invisible than to be seen.” But, this resulted in “a lot of sadness, depression, and a ton of loneliness which is hard to understand and process when you’re a teenager. I never felt good enough or that anybody really liked me.”
With perspective, though, Baldoni recognizes that it gets better, to a point: “but that feeling of insecurity never really goes away because truthfully…we are all insecure. We are all just trying to fit in.”
He offered some powerful advice too: “So if you are someone out there who is afraid of standing out, or giving your light to the world… please, take a small step today to get out of your comfort zone and be who you were truly meant to. My entire life changed when I stopped worrying what every person I met thought of me, and stopped judging myself and every situation that I was in. Don’t be afraid to stand out, in fact stand out… Because THATS what makes you attractive.”
Baldoni’s nearly 800,000 followers found the post pertinent and inspiring and praised him for using his platform to spread such a powerful message.
“As an educator seeing how kids as small as kindergartners are faced with these challenges and insecurities it is important that you know how valuable the sharing of your experiences is to others,” Deanna Cuevas commented. “This came exactly when I needed to hear it, thank you for having the courage to share,” Kimberly Millis shared. Candice Lanning added, “Breaks my heart to hear how people are truly affected by the cruel words of others. Bravo for your encouragement to those who feel alone!”
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