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A Turkish Photographer Captured the Honest Reactions of 17 Women to the Phrase, “You Are Beautiful”

In 2016, Turkish photographer Mehmet Genç, who also goes by the pseudonym of Rotasız Seyyah (which translates to “nomad without a route”), shared photos of indigenous women from every country he visited. Most of these women’s lives revolve around hard work and the photographer found that their gazes were often sad. So he found a great trick to make them smile: he reminded every one of them that they were beautiful, no matter what. After saying these magic words, the women, who at first seemed to be worried or sad, began to show shy yet sincere smiles. Not only are these before and after pictures incredibly moving, but they also prove that a simple compliment can change a person’s world.

Bright Side wants to show you the pictures taken by this talented artist who managed to prove the true power of words and capture it with his camera.

1.

Margarita was selling fruit at a street market in Otavalo, Ecuador. Because she wouldn’t smile, Mehmet Genç said, “You’re beautiful,” and even managed to make her laugh.

2.

In the mountainous region of Sierra Nevada, Colombia, the photographer met a shy native Arhuaco woman named Diomayda. As he was taking pictures of her, he suddenly said, “You’re beautiful.”

3.

Mathilda is Guatemalan. When Mehmet Genç asked for her permission to photograph her, she asked him not to make her laugh. So he said, “You’re as beautiful as a child,” and took her picture.

4.

Maria Dolores was 70 years old when these photos were taken. She lives in Otavalo, Ecuador, and is a native Kichwa. The photographer could not make her smile. So with the help of a translator, he passed on his magic words.

5.

In the town of Nazareth in Colombia, Mehmet Genç met the native Wayuu woman, Evangelina. She was 100 years old at the time. She was embarrassed to look at the camera, but when the photographer praised her beauty, everything changed. The woman’s reaction made it clear to him that saying the phrase, “You are beautiful,” works for all ages.

6.

In Cabo de la Vela, Colombia, the weather is extremely hot. To protect herself from the sun, this woman, named Juliana, puts on a skin mask. After taking some pictures, the photographer told her how beautiful she was, and she showed a bright smile.

7.

Altena was 88 when these photos were taken. She lives in Atalaia do Norte, in the Amazon region of Brazil. The photographer’s compliments made a difference.

8.

In the village of Santa Maria de Jesus in Guatemala, Mehmet Genç met a peanut seller. He asked her to smile for the camera, but when she didn’t, he said, “You’re as beautiful as a child,” and took her picture.

9.

When the photographer asked if he could take some pictures of her, Maria Ignesia, from Guamote, Ecuador, went to put on her new hat. The second image is the result of the words: “you are beautiful.”

10.

She is a street vendor from Otavalo, Ecuador. The photographer asked for her permission to photograph her. Then he told her the exact words to make her smile.

11.

In the city of Atalaia do Norte in Brazil lives Cosmita Gomes. The effect of the photographer’s magic words was incredible.

12.

Zarekkim is a native woman of the Sierra Nevada mountain region of Colombia. When she saw the camera she was very serious, but the photographer’s magic formula worked like a charm. This time, he flattered her in her own language and said, “Ma du mikabani,” which means, “You are very beautiful,” in Arhuaco.

13.

Vasi Joaki is a native Marubo from the Amazon region of Brazil. Mehmet Genç also praised her in her own language.

14.

In the village of Don Diego in Colombia, Mehmet Genç managed to spark the curiosity of a young girl. As he approached, the girl went back inside her house. He asked for her permission to take her picture, but she did not respond. Then he said, “Please, you are so beautiful.” The girl barely opened the door and smiled at the camera.

15.

Fidelina is from El Salvador. As usual, the photographer took normal pictures and then praised the woman’s beauty.

16.

Mimba and her baby, Maya, are native Marubo Indians from the Brazilian Amazon. It was difficult to portray her because of her shyness. But the photographer told her how beautiful she looked and the young woman’s smile didn’t take long to appear.

17.

In San Cristóbal, Mexico, Mehmet Genç met a woman selling clothes. He bought some things from her, but she wouldn’t let him take pictures because she was too embarrassed. He arranged her braids, which were decorated with colorful ribbons, and told her that she looked more beautiful that way. Then he was able to capture her shy smile.

What positive words can change your mood entirely? What are the words you use to encourage other people to smile and make their day?