Last year I went to the dentist for a routine cleaning. At the end of my visit, my dentist asked me if there was anything I'd like to change about my smile.
I replied "No, not really."
"What do you plan on doing about your two front teeth?"
This came as a shocker to me. Growing up, I always felt lucky that I never had to get braces, so my two front teeth never ever crossed my mind (except once when I got hit in the mouth with a softball... ugh). I forget how I ended up answering his very forward question.
He continued, "Well, when I look at you, your front teeth are like, coming at me. I could do a flizzle flam blahbitty blah...etc"... I forget what all he said there. Something to do with teeth caps.
I went home and shared this shocking proposal with my husband who immediately wanted to punch my dentist in the face (figuratively). Of course I became obsessed with my newly realized rabbit teeth, and started to wonder... do I look like a big dork every time I smile? How noticeable is it? Do I need to change them?? My husband, being the awesome man that he is, said he loved my smile and my cute teeth, and I shouldn't worry about them at all.
But it made me think of all the girls and guys out there, no matter how confident they may be about the way they look....if someone points out a part of their body as "flawed" or "fixable", how easily those words can really stick in one's craw, and can make a person question their once-believed-to-be beautiful bodies. It's bad enough that we have photoshopped images in magazines, billboards, and special camera lenses that make actors and actresses look slimmer or taller. It's inevitable that, somewhere subconsciously, we will compare ourselves to these impossible images. And now we're getting it from our dentists? (I've only experienced this here in L.A..... maybe it's a Hollywood thing?)
So I tried picturing myself with perfect teeth.... and realized, even if I changed something as little as that, I feel like I wouldn't look like me anymore. Yes, my teeth would be more "perfect", but "perfect" is boring. The awesome thing about being human is that no one is the same (physically or mentally). We're all made up of these incredible "flaws" that set us apart from everyone else in the world. And it's so freaking cool and beautiful!
I just finished my photo shoots for my new album, and looking through my pictures I did notice my little rabbit teeth every now and then, but they make me smile now. I've come to love how perfectly imperfect they are.
That being said, I do know that some (actually, a lot of) people get "work" done. In some cases it's medical, and helps relieve them of physical pain. And for others, it's cosmetic. They do it to boost their self-esteem. I don't judge anyone for the choices they make for their bodies. I know how painful body issues can be (trust me. It took me many, many years of mental work to be able to see myself in a truer light and have the self-confidence I do these days... and I could definitely improve on that still). I just hope that whatever changes people do to their bodies, that it's not coming from anybody else's opinions, or words.
I recently went back to that dentist for a checkup (yes, I went back to him. He's a great dentist, and I wasn't going to let his pushiness and opinions defeat me from coming back to get my teeth cleaned). He asked me again if I wanted to change anything about my smile. Without hesitating, and with a tiny, knowing smile, I said, "Nope."
By the way, I just watched Before Sunrise last night. LOVE! And I freaking adore everything about Julie Delpy. Especially her smile. :)