Guest Submission


  • 13 years old
  • Pontiac, Illinois USA


  • 33 years old
  • Peoria, Illinois USA
  • Child and Family Therapist

My Story...

Until I had a minor dental procedure at age 25, I had tiny little ridges on the bottom of my two front teeth. If you looked closely, they looked like a loose capital W, if you can picture that. I think a lot of people have them on their adult teeth, but they usually get wore down by eating, etc. For whatever reason, mine never did until I paid to have a dentist do it many years later. So, to get around the embarrassment of my “ridges” as I’d call them, I’d smile in a way that shoved my bottom lip under my teeth so it’d hide it. When I look at this picture, I can’t pin point which aspect of my appearance caused me the most anxiety. Certainly, the ridges are up there. But, I also had (still have) very wavy hair and did not know how to style it except to try to use a curling iron to straighten it and curl it under at the bottom. This resulted in my triangle-type haircut. I remember being so sad when I got the picture as my ridges were covered, but I had that tiny little bit of hair sticking out on my right side by my ear. As a 33 year old adult woman, mother, and wife, I feel compassion for this lost 13 year old. I wish I could go back in time and ask my orthodontist why he didn’t have that minor procedure done since I was in his office monthly for SEVEN years (braces came two months after this picture was taken). I wish I could go back and hand my former self a hair straightener. But, I can’t. So, I’ll embrace this former awkward teenager and realize that it helped me become the amazing person I am today. I was quite amazing back then, but now I know I am.

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