“I’ve been judged on how I look all my life because of my crooked teeth & acne. I can write a book on all the free advice I’ve received–from things like ‘get braces’ to things like ‘try multani mitti for your acne’, I’ve heard it all. When I was in school my friends used to call me ‘rabbit’ & ‘bunny’–this crushed my self-confidence & I grew up to be reserved.
I remember when I was in 8th grade, my parents took me to a dentist for braces–he said he’d have to extract 4 teeth & I’d have to avoid certain foods for 3-4 years. It sounded way too extreme! So I told my parents I didn’t want to go ahead with it & they supported me.
This battle continued on to college–I was the secretary of the economics committee & I remember this woman, probably someone’s mom, walking up to me. I thought it was for some work–turns out, she wanted to offer her wisdom on how I can get rid of my acne.
I used to break down but my parents were my biggest support system–they told me my acne was natural & would go away with time. But when they realised how much the snide remarks were affecting me, they decided to take me to a doctor.
The doctor said I had a deep skin infection & suggested a line of treatment that would take 3 years. I was okay with it as long as I was promised results. But it backfired–the acne spread to my forehead & chin! And the face peel was equal to the pain of a 100 injections! In between sessions, my face would turn red for days, I couldn’t step out without covering my face & I had to apply special ointments that’d sting.
Eventually, I realised how pointless it was–I had to break free from society’s perception of how a girl ought to look. People today lack acceptance & I was not willing to change myself to get their validation. I quit the treatment & my parents were 100% on board with my decision.
With small changes to my lifestyle, I got results in 6 months–without any crazy face-packs or pain. Today I’m mentally & physically in a happy place–I’m beautiful, inside & out & I’m owning it wholeheartedly! Now, if anybody has a problem with my teeth, I just tell them to go to an eye doctor & get a checkup!”