The Beauty of Insecurity
“You and your perfect little smile,” she said in a resentful tone. Little did she know that every time I smiled, I felt insecure. For years, I had been wearing a flipper to cover up a missing tooth—a retainer that made me speak weird, caused bad breath and let’s be real kept me from pursuing bigger dreams. While I don’t consider myself “shallow”, it would be inauthentic to say that I don’t care about my looks nor what people think. I’m human—very much human.
As women (you too, men), we hide our imperfections keeping people at arms distance—far enough that others are not able to see the blemishes, the stretch marks or the insecurities that we mask with concealer, Snapchat filters or a closet full of facades. It doesn’t help that our social media is flooded with two-dimensional images posing as 3D reality—when really we, as human, are multi-dimensional beings with many sides, even sides we, ourselves, may never see.
I questioned whether or not I should share this photo—a secret that only a few knew and maybe some pretended not to know. Now that I have this permanent implant, I’ll eventually forget that it’s a fake tooth—that there was a point when I had this thing in my mouth every single day—a hidden impediment that held me back from speaking clearly and putting myself out there. Liberated from a retainer, I no longer have an excuse to hold back and say what there is to say. It’s time to speak my truth, be honest and share things that are not so pretty—both externally AND more importantly internally.
While I was able to change my circumstances, there are insecurities that cannot be dealt with cosmetically—including those deep rooted issues ingrained into the cells of our being and the collective un-consciousness passed down from generation to generation, newsfeed to newsfeed and interaction to interaction. It’s not until we become aware of those blindspots and acknowledge the impact that we can move forward. Otherwise, a tooth implant (breast implants or even a sex transplant) will merely be another thing we do to feel good enough.
It’s impossible to move through life as human beings without insecurities. It’s almost inauthentic—dehumanizing in some ways—to pretend that insecurities don’t exist. Ironically, insecurities can ultimately become what makes us beautiful when we’re able and willing to cultivate the courage to unearth and reveal what we’ve been hiding. It might be embarrassing, scary or even shameful—but as Marianne Williamson best puts it, “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Be brave, my loves. The only opinions we should worry about are those of ourselves.