A year ago I wouldn't have posted this photo...

Monday, November 30, 2015

It doesn't have the most likes on my Facebook wall, it's nothing more than a blimp on my Instagram. It has a meer two notes on Tumblr. It's definitely not going to break the Internet, tragically I do not have the Jenner/Kardashian appeal. 
But a year ago I would have never posted it. 
The second it illuminated the back of my Canon dslr, I would have pressed the delete button faster than most people would instinctively duck at a dodgeball flying towards their face. Instinct is all it really is. For years I've programmed myself to erase all the images that showed my smile, hoping the lack of material to pick on would prevent me from having a reason to get  hurt. 
Awkward pre-adolescent photos are almost non-existent. Smiling shots from birthday parties, weddings, and the zoo, despite always being a happy kid, well let's just say thank god I have dimples. I'm one of the lucky few who naturally has a smiley face, even if I'm not smiling. 
Years of non-existent smiling photos existed because I grew up getting told by society I shouldn't smile. 
I've been at war with myself for years. Classmates used to say I look like someone drew my smile on with a crayon and tried to erase it. Names like vampire and snaggletooth are forever engrained in my memory. I still remember insults I received in first grade, like someone told me them five minutes ago. And here's what no one tells you, none of those comments will ever fully leave you. No matter how much you change about yourself, the wound will always stay fresh. 
It should be said, I'm not writing this as a middle finger to society, I'm not going to cry about the reasons it took me years to smile in public let alone photos. What I will say though, is it stings then you get stronger, and you might slip up and it'll sting even more but some day, somehow  you can tell your story without crying. That isn't you getting used to it or the pain going away. You won't cry because you own the story, pain and all. Some days will feel like walking on air and others will leave you not wanting to leave the safety of your bedcovers. 
Our insecurities love to eat us alive and if you're anything like me, you'll let them because it's comforting. Being honest about your insecurities is terrifying. I've been trying to write this blog post for almost a year now, because it's scary. I'm admitting to the world what my Kryptonite is and on my part, that might be a very stupid thing to do. But I'm doing it because I'm not the only person who has ever felt this way. I'm being the person I needed when I was younger. 
The scary thing about insecurities, especially life long ones like mine, is how it feels so safe. Like you're constantly standing on the edge of a cliff watching rocks crumble down at your feet. If you turn around and hide, you miss the view and if you step any further, you're doomed. Standing stationary is your best bet at survival. 
But that's the whole point. Standing still isn't existing. It's a temporary safety, one I've been victim to for years. I can safely say walking forward feels scary but I've been standing here so long I just feel like leaping forward and taking what comes my way. Maybe by falling, I'll build up wings and fly. 
So here's the truth for myself and others. Hopefully me being blunt and honest helps someone else fight the monster that is insecurities.
My name is Diana and exactly one year ago today a girl for the first time in three years called me snaggletooth, a term I didn't quite own at the time, and all the confidence I built up to that point crumbled down instantly and for the first time in years I went home and cried. Then I did what all girl bosses do and I made a New Years resolution, early but I made it. I was going to come to terms with my only existing insecurity, the only one I never even tried to conquer, my smile. 
Did I do it? I have my days, we're only human after all. 
I started claiming ownership of the words snaggletooth and vampire, if you're close to me, you use them interchangeably with my name. They now make me laugh, not build me down.  
I knew if I wanted to conquer what I didn't like, I had to stop deleting those pictures. I had to exist in photos, or I'd regret not having any. And for what? A insecurity I didn't even know why I had in the first place?
I had to come to terms with myself as I am. Of course I can get braces and all the cosmetic work my dentist would allow me to get (thankfully, that's none), but insecurities don't just go away because you change the exterior. I had to work on myself. 
However, the most important thing I had to do was learn how to be healthy. I could spend hundreds on whitening treatments and gapbands and diy dentistry for the perfect smile. Trust me it's beyond tempting and I gave in for years. But I'd just end up in the chair spending thousands just to keep my teeth alive if the effects went south (and trust me, they always do). 
In this fight with my insecurities, the best and most helpful thing I ever did, was listen to my dentist, hygienists and dental assistants. They offered the knowledge and tools to keep me healthy and my teeth looking their best without cosmetic work. When I asked for cosmetic work, they made me laugh, comforted me and most importantly said no. Their nagging to floss, positive attitude, and never questioning me on anything (especially why I'm asking so many questions about receding gumlines and dietary restrictions) was what I didn't know I needed at the time. It was something after years as a patient, I grew accustomed to, forgetting I really was fortunate to have them be my dental team. Looking back now, getting taught how to maintain a healthy smile was way more important than "sticks and stones will never hurt you", I mean in all honesty if you have a healthy smile and you're experiencing no pain, does it even matter how crooked your teeth are?
A year ago I would never have posted a photo smiling, let alone one where you can see the arch of teeth. I used to envy models who in laughing shots could lift their head up slightly revealing a perfect set of teeth and a perfectly curved arch. Until I realized, the only thing stopping me was my own confidence level. It was on a daily basis for a year being aware of my teeth. And it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Because in this year I learned who the hell cares? 
So I challenge you, whoever you are, to face yourself and be completely honest. Create a new years resolution we can all follow, come to terms with what's holding you back. And don't do it silently, there's so many people who want to see you overcome whatever is eating at you. Your friends want to see you smile, your doctors want you to be healthy believe it or not, and a ten year old version of you wants to see you fight monsters. You are not the names you were called today, or the ones you were called in grade school. You're a complete badass, go out and prove it.

(And maybe a year from now you'll post a blog post about what you never thought you'd do.)

You Might Also Like


  1. Oh Diana, I really love your post dear! I've learned after working in customer service that you should not care about what other people say and enjoy your life as you want to)
    I have so mane people around me saying so many terrible things behind my back and I'm so happy that I just don't care about that that it makes me happier. I agree that our insecurities eat us alive and we need to brace them and be happy of who we are now!
    As for the smile, you have the most beautiful smile I've seen and hey I'm almost 29 and been wearing my braces for a year and still 1.5 years to go, but the reason I've got them was for the health primarily. But if somebody tries to make fun of that I just don't care, at the end of the day it's they who waste the time thinking about it, not me)
    Wishing you lovely week!


  2. this is so inspiring! GOOD for you :) Confidence comes from within.
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  3. Everyone has a great smile! You should never do what society tells you to do!

  4. sweet sentiment, loved reading!


  5. Very interesting blog..like it very much
    Keep in touch


  6. Very interesting blog..like it very much
    Keep in touch


  7. Wow, Diana -- this is an absolutely beautiful post. I love how you're so honest and open about yourself -- it's like stripping yourself completely naked and exposing your insecurities to complete strangers, which is the most difficult thing in the world to do (not Kim Kardashian style. Fuck that.)

    I love the fact that you've been able to embrace every bit of yourself. That is something that is so hard to do.
    Your blog is wonderful. I'm officially following via Bloglovin, and I can't wait to see more posts from you very soon.

    A Northern Light

  8. Good for you, your smile is beautiful! You have come a long way. Embrace your beauty, it is entirely there to see!
    xx, Elle

  9. This was a really empowering post, loved reading it. I've been quite insecure about my smile since I was younger as well and it is strange how someone can just make an offhand comment and it'll stick with us for years. In your case though I don't know what people are talking about, I genuinely think you have a beautiful smile!


  10. Wow, I loved reading you words. Comments like that never fully leave you but let me just say that your smile is BEAUTIFUL! Of course you will still have you insecurities and you still might even hate it but for one, I'm applauding you for posting a photo of something you had been insecure about for a long time and two just know people out here think your smile is beautiful!


  11. You look beautiful smiling ! It's always awesome to find and read post just like this one! Love it!


  12. Well, I happen to think what you have a wonderful smile...and you look radiant while smiling which is always the most important thing. We are so much more than proportions, we are all complex human beings and we should be aware of that and never let someone put us down. I truly believe that people who say bad things about other people's appearance have some deep rotten problems with themselves and you were very brave not to let it get to you in the end. Wise words, thanks for sharing your story.

  13. FIRST OF ALL your smile is absolutely beautiful! <3 Never again stop smiling because another person tells you something, okay? Usually the person saying things like that has the problem. And wants to make people around think they're "strong" by saying nasty things to others.
    This was such a great post and I believe many people struggle with similar things and should read this. I know I have. I never really bothered with mean things people told me, but rather with the things people didn't say. Complimenting is also such an important thing and I think all of us should try say something nice to another person everyday.
    Thank you for a wonderful read. I hope your week is going well.
    Happy December<3
    Emma xx


  14. This is such a gorgeous picture! Great post girl!


  15. Always live for yourself and never worry what people think or say they will always talk :) You look beautiful!


  16. Such a touching post to read, Diana! Thanks for sharing your personal experience and how it's made you the more confident person you are today. Society is tough, people are mean and like you said, many of the actions resulted from those people stick. However, we do have the power to change that, as you did with smiling in this photo AND posting it. Thanks again for sharing such an inspiring testimony :)



  17. You should be so proud of yourself, this is a very inspiring post. It's just awful when people make comments like these that will stick with you for the rest of your life but I'm glad you are finally getting your confidence back x

    Beauty with charm

  18. Oh I just loved reading this, very true!


  19. How wonderful you show you now with a smile! Not only you are very beautiful, your smile is beautiful, too!
    Many thanks for kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  20. Girl, you are far more beautiful than all the Kardashians put together, please don't doubt it! We all have our insecurities, but that's something we need to embrace, not try and run away from. I used to be very shy about posting my photos online, but now I just don't mind anymore! Confidence comes from within, and is what makes you truly beautiful. <3

    Following on bloglovin'! x


  21. I think it's great you were able to post it today!! Keep it up, girl!

  22. A beautiful photo and a beautiful post! So much respect for this <3

    The Quirky Queer

  23. I love your beautiful smile. What a great post!!!! Have a fabulous weekend darling!
    much love xx ❤️❤️

  24. Great post! you look beautiful. Gemma xx

  25. Great post! You deserve to be confident!
    Sending good vibes, XO

    Courtney | Courtselizabeth | Instagram

  26. Beautiful photo!! Enjoyed reading it!! You go girl!! Xo


  27. Such a powerful post! It's so true. Once you accept who you are it's a magical force! You are gorgeous and have a beautiful, charming smile! kids are so mean growing up and I never understood that. I love that you posted this! hopefully it reaches it out to more of the younger generations. great post. Xxx

    Have an amazing weekend <3
    Lots of love,
    Kayla <3 Xx

  28. On my Facebook, you can hardly find any picture of me looking "normal"; you'd have to look really hard to find one. It's because I always screw my face up when the camera is pointed at me. It's my coping mechanism. I guess the reasoning behind it is... I'm insecure with how I look, so when there's a picture of me about to be taken, I take it "ugly" on purpose, so that it'll be "blamed" on my "funny" facial expression rather than "wow that girl is.... lacking in the beauty department." I reason that hey, it shows that I have a great personality ;) but deep down it's a kind of coping mechanism for me. I don't mind these ridiculous photos being posted on my Facebook, but I'd never post any of them on my blog. I'm still working on that... On my blog you'll hardly find pictures of me on it either, "normal" or otherwise. But your post has got me something to think about. Thank you :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  29. You have a such a beautiful spirit and smile... I'm so glad you posted it and shared your journey x


  30. What a moving post, though truthfully when I first saw this image of you I thought it was beautiful and I don't mean that in a general sense, I mean it honestly and entirely genuinely. Though compliments aside, I love the message you're sending out with this post and you're absolutely right - nobody is the names they've been called :) Have a brilliant weekend Diana.

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  31. I loved this post! I think your smile is beautiful, and I mean it. When I first saw the picture, I thought you were gonna talk about candid shots! It was really hard for me to come to terms of my own appearance actually, and maybe half a year ago I wouldn't even dare post a selfie. I'm kinda used to it now though, since I like taking pictures of my makeup, and even if I have a crumb of breakfast hanging onto my lip I don't care anymore. If anything, I think showing yourself as vulnerable is really honest, and it shows that nobody is absolutely perfect.

    becky ♡ star violet

  32. I'm so glad you posted this and are coming to terms with what you look like and who you are. Although those two things are interconnected, you're right that your attitude can change how you see the relationship. I had the same problem with my teeth and not being happy with my eyelid, etc. I wish I had your grace to show these "before" pics on my blog. For a while I even photoshopped away any imperfections. But learning to be real and honest is something that is even more precious than beauty.

    Beauty V. Brains | Enter to win a Naked 3 palette!

  33. You are inspirational and I adore your courage :) -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

  34. This is such a wonderful post! Insecurities prevent you from doing so many amazing things and enjoying life. You look absolutely beautiful and this is such a lovely picture of you! I also had so many insecurities, but then I realized that people will always judge you anyway, so you just have to focus on the good and feel beautiful. Confidence is so important, it just makes life much enjoyable and it's so important for success! Keep smiling and have a wonderful day!

    xo, Esther


  35. I know what you mean regarding deleting photos. There are times when I am not happy with my looks - the first two years that I had my blog, I didn't even show my face. But then how can we expect others to accept us the way we are if we don't do it in the first place? So we have to give to ourselves what we would like to receive from others.


  36. What an empowering post! We all have our insecurities and flaws that we have to live it. People will call us things but what we should know if we let it affect us, it will make us miserable and more insecure than ever. So the best thing to do just laugh at them, this is the best reaction you could give to someone. You have a beautiful smile so don't let anyone stop you from smiling!


  37. This was a very personal and deep post . I enjoy reading it because i feel I got to know you a little bit more. But let me tell you something, When I saw that picture and I start reading I couldn't understand why it was wrong with it. For a minute I thought it was because the background was blurry and kind of red-ish, because other than that, you look absolutely beautiful, and I don't think your smile has something bad at all.
    Sometimes all our "flaws" are just in our heads.
    The Color Palette
    Holiday Giveaway

  38. Diana, your smile is so beautiful:) To be honest, I didn't even understand what you were talking about at the beginning. I think that people who are always looking for physical imperfections in others are really insecure and jealous.
    I remember how ashamed I was in high school wearing metal braces (nobody had them at the time). My teeth were really big and braces were quite noticeable, so I always tried to hide my teeth with my palm when I wanted to smile. But at one point I just stopped caring about what others thought about it.
    Thank you so much for telling your story. This post is so inspirational:)


  39. Oh, right! The lofe changes so much in a year:)


  40. Bless your soul, Diana. It's my first time on your blog and having read this, I've instantly followed. There's a realness and rawness here that I love about this post and your blog in general.

    Being one who has been on the same side of the fence as you for the longest time possible (I still am, honestly), I love the fact that you're showing the process of healing and building one up, again. It's a lot to do with being willing to and being brave enough and being unafraid to embrace yourself, being able to love yourself again.

    I think you've got a stunning smile and I think you're absolutely lovely. Thank you for this post.

    Keep on smiling. <3

    May | THE MAYDEN

  41. Those people who called you names, were they kidding themselves? You look like you have a great, pretty smile, and like such a lovely person! And to be honest, your teeth look perfectly fine to me, but that's beside the point. I'm really liking your level confidence! I'm sure it took a lot for you to write up this piece. I've always believed in loving all the bits and pieces of yourself - even when that takes work - so I say good job and keep on smiling, because honestly, you've got a great smile. Keep on spreading the positivity!


  42. Such an inspiring post!
    Diana, keep on posting photos like this please! You look absolutely radiant and you have a killer smile! Don't worry about haters, they're everywhere and the best way to fight it is to live a happy life :)

  43. Take that society! This is such an inspiring and wonderful read. Thank you for sharing your story :)


  44. Kids are so cruel. I remember being bullied for no real reason except that I was shy and easy to bully. Good for you, owning your insecurities. I have crooked teeth too and a bit of a gap, but I feel like people feel more comfortable around me when I laugh like a goofball with my not-so-perfect smile.

    Pink Wings

  45. u are an inspiration, ur smile is beautiful, and so are u.
    New Post on my blog, do drop by soon ,<3

  46. You should not give a fu*k of whatever the damn thing those people say you have a beautiful smile and you know it. <3 <3
    Last Minute Sunday | Styleccentric Fashion'

  47. Very inspiring post! I think you look beautiful in this photo -- don't be afraid to smile :)

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Amazing post. Perfection is not beauty; the media needs to stop emphasizing this. They need to stop hypnotizing people, especially young kids/teens into believing that they must achieve a certain look in order to be happy.

  50. I LOVE this post. We all need a confidence boost like this every once in a while. Keep doing amazing things, and embrace what makes you unique. You are fabulous!


    Looks by Lau

  51. We all have one life to live yet a lot of times we spend it worried about what others say about us and those scars stay with us for a very long time. It takes a lot of self work to get to the point where words no longer hold the same sting. I totally feel where you are coming from and I'm glad you let your bad ass out! The pic is darling, your smile is beautiful!


  52. Loved reading your thoughts and you are so so right! I do share sometimes photos from my teenage years and nobody should ever feel bad! You look always so gorgeous :)

    Check out my blog if you want: www.theglamandglitter.com

    Tamara xxx

  53. Your post is very nice, it inspires us all