Why I Never “Fixed” My Teeth
I was offered the chance to erase the most visible sign of my poverty.
He began pulling up color-coded spreadsheets on his computer. He explained that I needed braces because many of my bottom teeth were still baby teeth. They could make space for the adult teeth to finally come in.
It would cost three thousand dollars to fix the teeth that had been neglected in my youth. The young man pressured me to get another set of braces on my top teeth, for cosmetic reasons only. “Doesn’t a pretty girl like you want straight teeth?” he asked.
I realized I had made a mistake: I wanted my old face back. When I moved back to Seattle after graduate school, I skipped out on my remaining $330 bill and had another orthodontist remove my braces.
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I sought a cherished symbol from my own childhood, not a standardized emblem of all Indonesian culture, which I can’t and shouldn’t pretend is all mine to take.
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I’ll go through the egg-freezing procedure that will give me the chance of maybe, one day, having a child.
I hope the voices of people who haven’t necessarily had the words when they needed them can also be heard.
Weight loss is not a life change that just happens with a snap of one’s fingers. There’s more to it than that, even when people say it’s just about “putting in the work.”