I was born with a gap between my two front teeth, but for the first eighteen years of my life, I didn't really notice it. Everyone in my family has a gap between their teeth, so I didn't think it was anything out of the ordinary. Honestly, I thought everyone had one. It wasn't until I got older and everyone started pointing out my gap to me that I realized it isn't common and that it's something many people think need "fixed".
Now that my gap has been pointed out to me, I can't stop thinking about it.
My insecurity about my gap started when I used dating apps more frequently. As we all know, guys on Tinder and Bumble aren't always the nicest guys around. I started getting messages about my gap more than I got about my weight, which came as a surprise to me. I thought guys would have more of a problem loving a bigger girl than loving a girl with a little gap in her teeth. I didn't see my gap as something to be insecure about until I kept getting rude messages about it. Other social media sites have become a platform in which I've been mocked for my gap, and now every time I post a selfie, I feel like that's all everyone is focusing on. They can't appreciate my hair or my outfit or my makeup without being distracted by the gap.
Of all the things to be insecure about, I hate that one of them is my teeth. I mean, this isn't something I can easily hide. I've always loved my smile, ever since it was pointed out to me as a child that my smile was beautiful. I cheese hard in every photo I take. My gap is on clear display.
I could easily set myself up a dentist appointment to get my gap "corrected", but I've decided against it. Yes, the fact that dentists are expensive and my fear of the dentist goes into this, but it's mostly because my gap has just become one of my defining features. I didn't hate it until people started telling me I should. The dislike isn't something that comes from within. And who's to say that everyone thinks my gap looks bad? I've had multiple people tell me that they thought it was cute or they didn't even really notice, which I appreciate. My gap is just part of who I am, and even if people are quick to make fun of me for it, I've accepted it as part of my imperfect self.
To anyone reading this who has an insecurity about one of their features, whether that be a gap in your teeth, the size of your feet, your curly hair, or anything else—don't think that you need to change parts of yourself just because others have convinced you that you shouldn't love them.