“Braces are ugly, painful, and horrible.”
Yup. I’ve been there. But now my teeth are all straight and it was totally worth it! Right?
Braces make eating even the mushiest bananas hard. So why do we put ourselves through this socially acceptable form of torture? And how socially acceptable is it really? No, you won’t get dragged though the streets for having braces. No you won’t get sprayed with fire hoses. No you won’t be exiled from your town. CALM DOWN! But you do get dragged down through the Jr. High School hierarchy until you sit dead last in the line of waiting-to-be-a-High-Schooler. You will get sprayed in the face on a monthly basis by your orthodontist and his/her/creature from the black lagoon’s water-sprayer-thingy that they shoot you in the mouth with then in your eye “on accident”. And yes, you will be exiled from any and all forms of weekend fun.
Ok, so maybe that was a little dramatic, but it’s not wrong. With rubber bands criss-crossing your mouth, making conversation (or any speech) a real challenge; with the sleepless nights due to the aching and ever present pain coming from your teeth being rearranged; and with the insides of your mouth getting cut, giving you eerily Joker-esque scars on the inside of your mouth, braces aren’t far from hell. Or as close as any eighth grader can get to the fiery gates. So this begs the question: why? What was I thinking?!
Well, there’s the practical answer: my teeth weren’t growing in straight and having crooked teeth causes problems with digestion and stuff. But other than that… to make them look nice? Are these the kind of things we as a society are doing today to fit the ever changing norm of what is and what is not “beautiful”? My mom always said it was making my teeth beautiful. Is that what other moms say to their kids whose arms and legs are thinner than sticks? It’s making them beautiful? Is that what other moms say to their kids when they ask why their mom is going in to surgery to put plastic in her face? It’s making mommy beautiful? I sure hope not. I hope moms are saying “It’s making you beautiful” when their kids are trying out for their school play because they love theatre. Or when their teenager asks why they have to do gardening. Or best of all- when kids are asking if they should challenge society. Yes. Because it’s making you beautiful. It’s shaping your character. I guarantee you that the people who will love you for the rest of your life are the ones who think you have a beautiful soul and mind. Not teeth. I promise.
So even though your teeth might get you noticed (and maybe not always in a good way), it’s the people who stick around because of your personality that will tell the embarrassing stories of your horrible brace-face at your wedding. Their the ones you’re going to miss the most when you’re off at college or whatever. Those are the people that you’re going to love and that are going to love you for the rest of your life. So let’s see…. Braces are beautiful because society doesn’t think that they are. They are the beautiful disasters we all go through that help us grow.
Don’t forget the glitter- iamtheseventies.