Lifestyle Mental Health

The Love/Hate Relationship With My Smile


I saw on Twitter that it was National Smile Day and, though I would love to pop something on Instagram with me smiling, I actually find it very difficult to show any selfies with either a full-teeth grin or even a little smile. There are many people out there like me who don’t like being in front of a camera because of the way I look, but I come from a family of ‘camera haters’. Both my parents, my uncle and my two cousins hated having their pictures taken and my dad hated so much that I don’t have one picture with him. I never really understood why he wouldn’t smile for a picture or let me take a photo, but I discovered later on from my mum that he was pretty embarrassed over the fact that he didn’t have many teeth and it made him feel really self-conscious.

I definitely get those feelings!

I feel exactly the same.

From a very young age, my teeth have been pretty dodgy. I actually ended up with way too many teeth inside of my mouth (I’d had 10 teeth out by the time I was 12) and my two front teeth were crooked. I was always told to smile more when my family tried to take a picture but I’d only smile with no teeth showing. I even hated that smile! I look like I’m constipated or like a face drawn on a balloon. It sounds stupid but it’s true!

I have had braces which I wore for 3 years and then a retainer, but my teeth didn’t even bother to straighten. Stupid mouth.

I may be in my 30s but I still hate having my picture taken or taking a selfie because of how I look when I try to smile. I have been trying to post a couple pictures of myself on Instagram to try and combat this self-hate but I haven’t found that happy middle ground where I can take a picture of myself and share it. I’m hoping that I will eventually get better over time as I try to work on my confidence and inner demons but, for anyone out there who feels the same as I do about their smile, here is one of my favourite quotes:

“If today, a smile should appear on your face, it’s because at this very minute, I’m thinking about you and I am smiling too.”

What are your thoughts about your smile?

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