When I was fifteen I had to have my wisdom teeth removed, my parents took me to a dentist to get examined. What I thought it was just another visit to the dentist ended up being an event that has impacted me till now.
While I was siting on the reclining chair the dentist took out an odd looking ruler and started measuring my whole face, he started with my teeth, then my chin, my lips, my nose, the eyes… all while writing the numbers down on a notebook. When he was done he told me “ you have the most asymmetric face I’ve ever seen, and we have to do a lot of surgery to fix it”.
I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about, but he keept going “ we have to start with an oral and maxillofacial surgery, that´s going to help with your protuberant chin, after that you´ll need a nose surgery, because it didn´t grow as it should have, the angle of your nose it´s like a mans, women should have it more pointy…” he told me about the millimeter difference from each side of my face and ended with “And there´s nothing we can do about the eyes, those will stay twisted forever”.
I don´t even remember how the rest of the appointment went, but when I got in the car with my parents I started crying, so, so hard I could barely breathe. The dentist made me feel like the most horrid creature in the world. My parents told me that it was all bullshit and that we were going to go to somebody else to take my teeth out, but the damage was done. Even now sometimes I look at my nose and think it would look better with a little bit of work.
When you are a teenager you are building your self esteem, you are vulnerable to other peoples opinions about you, to the images of perfect women portrayed on magazines and where not. We grow up, we build our personality, our beliefs, and sometimes under the strong façade we still have hidden wounds that we usually keep to ourselves. Wounds that open up in the most unexpected moments, or they get revived with innocent comments from your friends that don’t know what they are awakening with a simple “Oh! Your boobs are so small! Surely you´ll get a boob job later” … Or your partner mentioning in a silly way that they are great but not the greatest…
Some other times, maybe the majority, we don’t need anyone else triggering that wound, its us, while stalking beautiful women on Instagram, or looking at a magazine. We start enumerating every single one of our “flaws” and the ways we could look better. Maybe a nose surgery,a tummy tuck, a boob job… by stop eating… who knows. We can come with the craziest ideas that only make sense in our minds.
What I’m trying to get to with all this, is that we should always be mindful about how we talk about others, how we talk about ourselves around small children, how we talk about the physical body. What if every time we are about to say something unnecessary about someone else we decide to keep it for us? What if we start teaching that our body is the temple of our soul and we have to treat it with love and kindness? What if from now on every morning when we wake up we look ourselves in the eye in front of a mirror and we say “you are beautiful, you´ve got it, you are awesome and I´ll do everything in my power to keep you healthy and strong?”
Have you had an experience that lowered your self-esteem? Or have you ever said anything that made someone else feel bad about their body? What could you have done different in both cases?
Yesterday a booklet on “The magic of Body Mind communication – The art of reading faces” came to my hands and I’m planning on writing about it the next time.