Hey guys. Welcome back to Reclaiming the Space 🙂 This week I’m inviting you to read with me about Shannique’s uplifting experience as a girl with a gap. Next week join us again for another podcast.
Shannique is from the beautiful island chain of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We have been close friends for approximately sixteen years. Shan has always had a gap but this is the first time we have ever had an open conversation about it.
I would have expressed in the last post my audacious run ins with people about my teeth but Shannique’s experience is entirely contrary to that. She has never really had any negative reactions to her gap. Most if not all of her experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.
Shannique is actually quite baffled that there are people who do not see having a gap in a admirable light. While she is usually quite self-assured and pragmatic she does not attribute her experiences to her ability to “practice ignorance”. For her practicing ignorance is basically learning to ignore information which is not helpful or productive. Instead she points out that she has received strictly several compliments on her space. She could not see it negatively even if she wanted to. She has heard on separate occasions the likes of:
“Ooo you have a nice space teeth boy!”
“you have a beautiful smile.”
Affirmative responses are normal for Shannique as a result she has always been confident with and proud of her gap. No one has ever stated that she should get it fixed. In fact the first time she ever observed the impression that it was a fault to be mended was when she watched a season of America’s Next Top Model with Danielle Evans of Cycle 6. A lot of us who watched Tyra’s blockbuster series would remember this occasion vividly where Dani who adored her unique feature was forced to have it closed for commercial purposes.
Shan does not even understand why Dani’s teeth would have been perceived as a problem to begin with she continues that where she is from it has never been an issue at least not for her. In fact, Shannique states that while she would not necessarily state that it is a specific trait of beauty in St. Vincent, she grew up in a family where several family members had, and still have, a diastema. It has in her experience been such an ubiquitous feature that one of the few family members who doesn’t have a gap wondered why she did not have one and wanted to have one too!
Shannique believes that although it may sound cliche, girls with gaps are fearfully and wonderfully made by God and designed DELIBERATELY by the Master Designer, including a gap. She would encourage anyone doubtful of that to take a fresh new look at themselves and see what is beautiful and unique. She would encourage doing away with predetermined beauty conventions of the western world if they deter embracing their uniqueness. She would also emphasise that in countries like Nigeria, a gap is a sign of beauty.
Shannique offers us a pertinent reminder about how God unveils in us beauty in our differences and how purposeful He is in His creation.
Join us next week for the next installment of Reclaiming the Space.