Growing up, I had a really bad relationship with my teeth. Although things were cool when I was a little girl, once my adult ones came in, it seemed like my teeth were so big that they overtook my entire face (I've got the pics to prove it). As if that wasn't bad enough, I also had an overbite, a little overcrowding on my front bottom teeth and my left front tooth protrudes slightly more than my right one. Ugh. Out of all the things that are "wrong" with my teeth, that annoys me the most.
I begged my mother to take me to the dentist. Beyond semi-routine cleanings, she didn't. It wasn't until I was well into my 30s when she explained that even though she knows she should have, she didn't because she had an illogical fear of the dentist herself.
As pissed as I was about having these teeth of mine, there are two distinct things that happened that helped me to make peace.
For one thing, back in the day, I used to do a little bit of modeling. During a shoot, I mentioned to the husband/wife photography team that I wanted to get braces. Both of them paused and shook their head "no". The husband then said, "Braces aren't always a good thing. They can totally alter your facial structure and, believe it or not, mess up your smile."
The second thing that happened was the death of my father. My smile — lips, overbite 'n all — I get from him. Now that he's gone, it's weird but it's like I get a glimpse of him every day whenever I look in the mirror. Ironically, that makes me smile. Big.
Both of these life moments have taught me the same overall point — flaws are not something to be ashamed of or even something that we should be consumed with changing. As you'll see in just a sec, if your perspective is healthy, your so-called flaws can actually be the best thing about you (physically).
1. Flaws Are What Make You Unique
Recently, I checked out "Here Are the Most Beautiful Women in Each Country". As I scrolled down, some of the women caught my eye (like Kate Menson from Ghana, Samantha Harris from Australian Aboriginal, Nona Gosa from South Africa and actor Teyonah Parris who represented US/Africa). On some level, all of the ladies had something attractive about them, but to me, many of them were not memorable.
Whether it's a semi-jacked up tooth like mine, a birthmark that might be on your face, any eye that is slightly lighter or darker than the other — whatever your "flaw" may be, choose to see it as a mark of distinction. It's something that sets you apart and makes you stand out.
And really — would you rather be cookie-cutter-pretty or someone who is truly memorable? Personally, I prefer Door B.
Feature image by Getty Images.
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