How I Learned to Love My Tooth Gap by Pretending It’s a Vacation Destination for The Borrowers

Reclaiming the features you’ve always felt self-conscious of can be a difficult journey. Growing up with a tooth gap, I never thought I would feel beautiful, much less actually come to love my unique smile. But that all changed when I opened my mind to less normative perspectives. Here’s how I learned to not only accept but celebrate my tooth gap by pretending it’s a vacation destination for the Borrowers.


In childhood, the bullying I endured over my tooth gap led me to resent my distinctive denticulation. In school my classmates used to call me “old gappy,” and worse! I remained insecure throughout my adolescent years, always hiding my teeth in pictures or covering my mouth when I laughed. Then as a young adult, a shift occurred within me. Sometimes, we realize that the atypical features we’re taught to loathe are actually our most striking. But not me. I just realized that the sizable gap between my two front teeth would be the perfect place for the Clock family to take a tropical vacation in the warm, humid environment of my mouth.


Once I came to love my gap for my own reasons, other people’s opinions mattered less and less to me. Sure, I’ll still get the occasional comparison to Michael Strahan, but guess what? That’s a compliment because his gap would make a great vacation spot for the Borrowers, too. Of course, they wouldn’t go there because the hospitality in my tooth gap is next level and they are loyal patrons, but theoretically speaking Michael’s mouth has Borrower potential.


As I embraced my gap, my confidence also soared. I suddenly understood that peace with one’s physical form can only come from within, and particularly from within the process of imagining Pod Clock grilling for the whole family while Arrietty and Peagreen Clock run around causing trouble and “borrowing” my fillings.


Ultimately there’s no one right way to achieve self-love, but there is a most right way, and that’s pretending that your teeth are host to a family of tiny characters from a children’s book turned major motion picture starring John Goodman. I love my tooth gap, and the Borrowers love it, too. Now off to inform them of the resort’s new floss zipline package!