K A T Y

"The doctor told me that I had a type 3 malocclusion, or an underbite, and that it was a skeletal problem in my jaw. He told me when I was 12 and that I'd probably need surgery. I was against the idea, but as time went by it got much worse - I mean I would actually choke in public because I wasn't able to chew properly. The first time I realized how bad it was, I saw a recording of myself from a play I was in. I saw just how different I looked from everyone else. So I looked up underbite on the internet and saw all these jokes about it and people calling it a deformity. It completely shattered my self confidence. It got to the point where I was scared to go to school every day because I was scared people saw me as different. I'd isolate myself completely and found social situations really tough. There were these boys that called me "Crimson Chin" because of how pronounced it was. It was unbearable.

I finally told my parents that I was ready for the surgery, but had to train myself to realize it wasn't just because I wanted to look pretty -- I mean this was affecting my health, mentally and physically. I remember I could barely look at myself... I used to take a Sharpie and write "MONSTER" all over my arms... Eventually I realized I needed to get better for myself and those around me because it had completely taken over -- it was haunting me. In order to find the beauty in myself, I started doing community service, getting into film making and cutting out the negative people in my life.

I think community service helped so much because eventually I saw what was important and what made me feel good on the inside - I realized it wasn't about looking pretty, but finding the beauty within.

So after the surgery and my recovery, I decided I wanted to educate people about the process. I started a blog and YouTube channel detailing my process, and it's great. These people comment to me that they were so scared to have the surgery and thanks to me they're not so scared anymore ... and that... I mean that is just the most wonderful feeling. It feels wonderful to have taken such a huge insecurity in my life and been able to turn it into something so positive" 

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