Yes, I DO Have Baby Shark Teeth: The Benefits of Embracing, not Erasing, Your "Flaws"

 

Yup. This is me and yes, these are my adult teeth. Yes, they are pointy and yes, they are small. I have microdontia (not the powerhouse of the cell), which means (not surprisingly) “small teeth”. Yes, I can eat apples, and yes, I am a vampire. Thanks for asking.

Also, I own a Samsung. Don’t come for this photo quality I’m aware it's not the best--but I digress.

I had nicknames, such as “shark girl” and “vampy”. Though they mean nothing to me now, as a teenager, these comments were not taken lightly. When I was a junior in high school, a kid asked me if I could break a chicken’s neck with just my teeth and within the same breath, told me no one would ever date me with that “jacked up” mouth. Imagine how that warped my already unstable body image.

I could go through the entire ordeal of how I overcame my once omnipresent insecurity over my teeth, but I promise that article has been written. You’ve seen them- “How I learned to love my blank”, “Why I don’t care about how my blank looks anymore”, and “How to love your flaws”. You know what article you haven’t read? What happens when you get over the fact that your body exists and is yours. What happens when you admit that yes, your body doesn’t, and never will fit any solitary standard of beauty, ever.

So, here I go, writing the article you haven’t heard. I know every HC reader has some part of their body that they didn’t like at one point but now either adore or at least tolerate. Maybe you have had an insecurity about a facial mole, a gap in your teeth, a stretch mark, a scar, no eyebrows, too much eyebrows, more weight than you’d like, or much weight than you’d like, an eye that kind of crosses, thin lips, big lips, man hands, kid hands, big hips, no hips- I could write a Les Miserables length novel on parts of the body illicit insecurity. But now is the time to celebrate how you overcame your insecurity, and the benefits you have reaped since you started not giving a shit. For those of you who still struggle with insecurities, let this be your motivation to let them go. You were born in this body with all of its “flaws” and unconventional beauty, and you get to live inside of your body until you kick the bucket. Might as well commit to it today, and learn to love your body that you’re going to be stuck in for the next several decades.

Without further ado, here’s what happens when you decide to stop covering, compensating for, and hiding your unconventional beauty.

  1. Ain’t got no tears left to cry

You do not realize how much time you spend worrying about how your insecurity looks/sounds/presents to others, until you just stop worrying. You probably have literally cried about what your insecurity in the past, but now, you barely have time to even consider your insecurity. Once you learn to live and someday love your “flaws” (not entirely sure who made the perfect human, and decided that this was the blueprint, and all deviation is therefore a flaw, but I digress), you literally have no emotional room to spare for your insecurity, even when others may comment. People’s naive and sometimes hurtful comments will never cease to affect you (it’s a pitfall of human psyche), but your emotional burdens about your insecurity will eventually subside. 

2. You’re willing to call attention to your unconventional beauty

I am writing a whole article about how I used to find my body embarrassing and ugly. I promise that after you just say, “HEY THIS IS MY BODY AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE UMMMM…...IT’S MY BODY!”, you’re going to start calling attention to your “flaws” (seriously, using the term is ‘unconventional beauty’ is so jargon-y, but dear lord I hate using the term ‘flaws’ to describe natural human biology). When you bring attention to your insecurities, you bring the power back to your circle, instead of surrendering the power to who want to bring you down. Want people to shut up? Speak up. Those who want to tear a sister down will notice you are already aware of and effing proud of your unconventional beauty, when you advertise your insecurity. Reclaiming power will suddenly leave your bullies speechless. 

3. People notice a thriving sister.

You know how cheetahs and lions and all these majestic, strong predators only go after weak prey because they’re easy to catch? Same goes for the haters. People notice when you feel lowly about parts of your body, and the douches of the world will, without a doubt, try to  exploit said insecurities. But once you aren’t ashamed of your insecurities, a sister is confident and people won’t have a reason to push you down. People will even start saying genuinely nice things about your insecurities.

4. You realize you built-up unnecessary defenses about yourself

Over the summer, a co-worker began a comment on my teeth, and before he could go further, I told him I knew my teeth were odd and that I didn’t really need any more commentary on them. A bit baffled and somewhat offended, he said “I just wanted to tell you that your teeth were cool geez.” Once you get along with your insecurity, any future instances where your insecurity is brought up will still bring up your old defenses. But come to find out, you really don’t need mini monologues to recite whenever anyone or even yourself says anything about your body, because there’s no pain to protect yourself from.

Looking at this whole shark tooth situation now, I’ve realized that I gave one jerk’s comment way too much power over my self-esteem. Granted, I was in high school- I had the emotional fragility of Utah weather- but I wish I had known that one person’s opinion does not equate to “everyone”. The majority of people don't worry about what your body looks like (not even a fraction as much as you do.) And at the end of the day, the only person who has to like your body is you. You’ll start by acknowledging, then tolerating, then liking, and then maybe one day loving your body, but the message here is that you will embrace your body one day! Remember, you are not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you. Whether that someone be a friend, co-worker, high school bully, parent, sibling, magazine, model, fitness product- these hoes don’t know you if they make you feel like anything else than a natural human being.

My name is Taylor, and I embrace that I am a baby shark!

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7