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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

I did not jam my thumb in a door, nor did I bite my nails too much when I was young. I do not know what happened to the other half of my thumb, and, most of all, I cannot tell you why my thumb resembles a toe.

These are a few of the many automated responses that I, along with 2% of the world’s population, give when someone gawks at our severed fingers. I was born with Brachydactyly, a condition in which the end bones of my thumbs are underdeveloped.

pink manicure
Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels
Most of my friends say that my toe thumbs are “cute.” They, however, have never gotten a manicure and received peculiar giggles as the manicurist filed their crumb of a nail. Moreover, my peers do not know the shame that comes with never being able to win a thumb-war. Ever.

I belong to a unique group that I did not join by choice. I simply have a genetic defect.

 I become overjoyed when the rarity occurs that I meet someone who also has stubby, bulbous thumbs. We share common struggles; being unable to text with one hand due to Apple’s ever-growing cell-phones or being unable to find an adequately-sized bowling ball.

My thumbs have also impacted my persona.

In the seventh-grade, we studied genetics and the teacher brought up clubbed thumbs. She asked everyone to hold their thumbs up. Embarrassed, I looked down at the floor and put my hands under my desk. Looking back, I laugh at the fact that I was nervous about exposing something as small (literally and figuratively) as my thumbs.

My mini-thumbs help me embrace my “flaws” instead of dwell on them. Even though I’ve inherited this trait, my attitude toward it is what defines me. I’ve given up on being perfect and am focusing on being genuine…and I have a good ice breaker in group conversations…plus the same trait as Megan Fox.

Curiosity and creativity are the building blocks of my personality. Intrigued by the power of words, my interests lie at the intersection of marketing, fashion, and writing. When I work with others in the future, I want to be the person that I would be looking for as a leader. My strong interpersonal skills in conjunction with my academics will guide me on the track to not only become the mentor I seek, but also to utilize my language and imagination in order to create and ultimately inspire others to use theirs.