It’s a very sobering thing to realize that for the majority of my life people saw my buck teeth and assumed I was stupid.
And to not know that was the entire problem only after all my teeth were removed and they began treating me differently. It’s not only been horrible thing to do to anyone, it was a sneaky thing to do.
To have TV shows and movies that showed every buck-toothed person as stupid. And that explains why my grandmother seemed compelled to TELL me continually that I wasn’t stupid. My grades were always above average, I tested high on the IQ tests, I was well-read, and I never SAW myself as stupid. Never.
Yet that was how everybody ELSE was seeing me because they were convinced bucked tooth people were stupid from MOVIES. From TV shows. From CARTOONS.
And only after my teeth out, I see what I was missing. I realize the exclusion I was receiving, because of the inclusion now.
I was treated that way and excluded because of my looks. I keep a picture of my buck-toothed grinning self so that I can remember that is what they saw. So much prejudgment … prejudice … against that woman. Because of her teeth.
The bigger you smiled, to be liked, the more they hated you…..
And the early teenage depression to want to kill myself, that makes sense. It was brought on by the prejudice of those around me, and their assumptions ABOUT me, based on my LOOKS.
I was able to ride above it but here’s the thing: I myself did not apply the label stupid to myself, I didn’t see my buck teeth. I was busy fixing my hair or putting on makeup in the mirror. I DID NOT apply those same prejudices to myself…that others were applying to me.
So I was left confused, but unmarred by their judgements. And scientifically I only have one problem, there is no way for me to put my buck teeth back in my head and double-check my findings.
But that was what happened in my life, from prejudice. And you can imagine how much more confusing it was for others to be telling ME to not judge a book by its cover, while THEY continually judged me as a born idiot.
And then they expected conniving, and resentment TO their prejudice, they EXPECTED to bring out the worst in me. They weren’t able to do that, either. I conditioned myself to accept the hatred and see that as part of being FAT.
It was always the fat that had to be the problem. But it was those assumptions that people with big teeth were the stupid ones. I’m fatter than ever, now. But accepted normally among my peers, now. Neat as you please….. this human experiment comes to its conclusion.
Those prejudices that were reenforced with hundreds of tv shows that PROVED to the populace, with ACTORS, that their prejudgements about bucked teeth and stupidity were real.
And I watched Nemo, you know….where they show the little bucked tooth Irish girl as EVIL …and I thought, at least that’s an improvement. But they still just don’t get it.
They never will.
But I get it. I never was stupid, even WITH the bucked teeth. And I knew a set up when I found it. The only difficult thing my whole life, has been my willingness to take the blows.
Because I see sacrifice differently than most people. How they treat you with your buck teeth is inevitable. But what isn’t inevitable is your own reaction, and the fact that it’s easy enough to judge the paths… the paths they set a girl upon so long ago.
Easy enough to judge those paths themselves were made by those much more stupid than yourself.
That’s the kicker. And the final kicker, to think “but am I smart enough, even so?” I look at the horizon… and can only think it’s no matter.
This was NOT my game. Was it? So what is THEIR excuse? And I sigh. I think there are many gone from this world, and many will return.
I want to cry for the bucked tooth girl who was dismissed. That is the danger. Never cry for yourself, Eileen. Look ahead. Don’t let any of it get to you.
I rewatch the shows, you know. Pinky and the Brain, I get to rewatch THAT and mourn.
There is one truth that must be realized…
Those who taunt are almost always less endowed with natural talents. And those with talent are not free entirely of the inclinations to taunt.
Sometimes you piss in the wind. But sometimes the wind itself is the one thing you can depend upon.