I had a moment the other day. One of my many moments, over the years, of a sudden worry about my appearance. One of those fixations that bobs up like an intrusive dolphin breaking through the surface of my self esteem (nice metaphor, Lil, please take this esteemed blog award for Most Convoluted Dolphin Metaphor 2015). There are a couple of things about my appearance that have been the last persistent shreds of all the self scrutiny I have managed to throw in the bin. Mostly this has been my hair and my teeth. I guess that could be partly due to the changeability of those aspects of myself. I know I can do all sorts of things to my hair, and I also know that I can (with a big cartoon bag full of cash) change the appearance of my teeth. At the moment I like to call my hair my 'hay bale' and I truly do use that term with great affection.
The prospect of straight and symettrical teeth is appealing to me in large part because I know it's pretty attainable, but also probably because of the culture of braces as a right of passage for teenagers. I had braces at the worst time possible in my life that I could've had them. I felt really self conscious about them and struggled to feel like I was cleaning my teeth adequately (which I clearly wasn't as I have some white decalcification stains around where my brackets were). Braces were a horrible experience for me, and my teeth moved around a lot afterwards because I didn't understand the importance of wearing a retainer. D'oh!
Despite my 'moment', I am pretty okay with my teeth most of the time. I think that front tooth of mine that sticks out is kinda cute, and my teeth are reasonably healthy, but sometimes I think it would be so nice to have straight teeth. I feel a bit guilty about it though, because I want to spread around the message that imperfections are good and beautiful things. I want to let people know that being human, being ugly, and being different is great! Yet I want to straighten my teeth. If I pay over £1000 to straighten my perfectly healthy and functioning but somewhat wonky teeth, what message does that send? What message does it send to me about my own body, as well as to other people about theirs?
Part of me would love to have straight, white, sparkly magic teeth, and in all honestly I probably wouldn't hesitate to go for Invisalign if it was offered to me free of charge, but I feel like I should push these feelings away. After all, I know there's nothing wrong with me the way I am. Sure, I'd like to be able to floss between some of my teeth more easily, and it would probably feel nice to run my tongue over my upper front teeth without having to traverse a tongue ridge, but it's important to me to consciously avoid changing myself just for some silly social standard.
WONKY TEETH FOREVER