My imperfect teeth have been my biggest insecurity. I’ve always hated that I have one tooth that is not aligned with the rest of my teeth. For the longest time, I resented myself for not having perfect teeth because I felt so ugly without them.
At around thirteen, I started coping with this self-hatred by taking ironically silly pictures of myself. By revealing my imperfections, I addressed that I didn’t have perfect teeth before anyone noticed on their own. I thought this would then stop individuals from judging or asking me about them. However, one day, this backfired as a friend commented asking: “Kelly, are you missing a tooth?”. I was so embarrassed — I had no idea how to respond. Although his comment is insignificant in retrospect, it really took a toll on me and I became even more unhappy with my appearance. I stopped acting silly and when I laughed, I covered my mouth. I hated to smile with my mouth open. When I spoke, I always assumed that the person on the other end was staring at my tooth while secretly judging me. I still remember how timid and anti-social I became because I didn’t want others to start making fun of me.
Kelly Chiu was born in Hong Kong, and raised in Vancouver. She recently graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. She is currently living in Vancouver, and is the Visual Content Specialist of BTYQN.