Getting Past Appearance Snarking (or, My Crooked Teeth Made a Stranger Puke)

Last week, Jonny and I sent out the Save the Dates for our wedding.  We’re very proud of them! We worked hard on them together, and we were able to come up with something that was cute and very ‘us’.  My mom still requested that we send a more civilized version to certain family friends and relatives, but hey – you can’t win ‘em all.  Here it is:

Adorable, right?

You probably notice that I have crooked teeth.  It’s something I’ve gone back and forth between feeling very self-conscious about and feeling fine with.  I even considered getting braces before the wedding, but ultimately decided it was too much to deal with this year and what was the big deal about some imperfect teeth in pictures?  Hey, it works for Jewel!

Well, then one of our future wedding guests (we still don’t know who)(which is probably for the best) decided to share our Shave the Date on the internet.  It has now been viewed close to 400,000 times on Imgur and Reddit.  I found out because my friend Jesyka in Atlanta was sent the link by a friend who thought it was funny, having no idea that Jesyka knew me.  Whoa!  Internet famous!

Then I read the comments.  I am not the only person who is conscious of my orthodontic issues.  Some strangers are actually… offended by them.  And commented about it, repeatedly.    Comments ranged from, “The guy can photoshop a date into a beard, but didn’t bother to touch up his fiancé’s dead tooth?  So gross. Can’t that shit be bleached?” to “I can’t look away from her mouth, her single discoloured tooth is staring into my soul.”  Into your soul?!!?  How come no one ever told me my tooth could do that?!  My dentist just said it was an overbite with crowding!

Getting Appearance Snarked Sucks

I immediately felt about sixteen years old.  To quote Angela Chase from My So-Called Life, “The worst feeling is suddenly realizing that you don’t measure up. And that in the past when you thought you did, you were a fool.”  I felt hideous and most of all, stupid for all the times that I thought I wasn’t hideous.

That’s the thing about getting appearance snarked. To be quickly slashed down into flawed parts of your whole self feels really… embarrassing.  Every single time I ever strutted my stuff in a bar, thinking I looked cute, suddenly felt laughable.  Internet appearance snarking tends to contain a lot of people saying they feel repulsed and nauseous, too, so then it’s like, great, my teeth are not just a physical flaw that I have to deal with, now they’re an actual menace to society that go around staring into souls and making people puke.

Not Just For Me!  Appearance Snarking Sucks for Womankind!

The saddest part, to me, is not my apparently dangerous chompers; it’s the fact that it’s a part of our culture to rip women apart in this way.  The internet makes it easy to do it in a public, yet anonymous way.  Remember when someone discovered that Megan Fox has short, wide thumbs?  There were thousands of comments on pictures by people saying they were grossed out.  This is an absolutely stunning woman, and a few inches on her body out of MANY are unusual looking and we’re all sick to our stomachs?

The bizarre thing is that though we’re incredibly critical of women’s natural imperfections, we can be twice as brutal in criticizing women who go about trying to fix them.  If I HAD gotten my teeth fixed and that picture was of me with perfectly white and straight teeth, I just have this feeling that I could have just as easily been criticized for looking fake (And if not that, then I’m certain it would have been something, because they also convinced themselves that a stray strand of hair from my bangs stuck to my cheek was an eyebrow down to my chin).

Basically, ladies, if we take this shit on, we’re fucked no matter what.

Well.. what can we do about this, Ms. Chinbrow?

If you’ve gone through something similar, I’ve compiled a little first aid kit for you of what I’ve learned from healing my own appearance snarked wounds.

  • DON’T READ IT.  Appearance snarking is toxic and there is no valuable information to be had there, period.  There’s a lot of discussion online that I agree with about how comment trolls, behind the meanness, have some solid constructive criticism to offer.  I think that’s true in many cases, but NOT when someone is talking about your nose or zit or hangnail or weight gain.  It’s just plain mean and doesn’t need your energy adding to its power.
  • Take a look at any site that contains pictures of celebrities and see how they get ripped apart.  Not that I’d want you to make a habit of this or anything, but you’re in a delicate I’ve-been-snarked state and seeing “OMG SHE GOT SO OLD” as a caption under the photo of a drop-dead gorgeous actress might give you some perspective on your large forehead, or whatever.
  • Don’t spend too much time hating on the person/people who snarked you.  I say this because it doesn’t really go anywhere.  Most people that I told about the comments I got said things like, “What kind of losers notice these things on strangers’ pictures and comment on them?  I bet they feel so bad about themselves to pick someone else apart like that!”  I tried to go there, but it didn’t really cheer me up much.  No need to meet meanness with more meanness.  Why people behave the way they do is a mystery, and you can not be affected by their bullshit without creating more of the snarkiness that hurt you in the first place.  Telling yourself that these people are all obese and deformed rotting away in a basement somewhere might be good for a laugh, but don’t live there.
  • Think of a younger woman that you love who you feel very protective over.  Imagine that she gets snarked on for something she’s really insecure about.  What would you say to her?  How would you want her to react?  For me, I imagined my niece Alia.  I’d tell her how beautiful and perfect she is down to her little toes and how I would never ever change one single thing about her.  And I’d want her to react by saying, “FUCK ‘EM!  Who gives a shit what these people think?” (but not right now.  She’s not even three yet).  I drew strength from that.
  • Understand your part in helping this to continue as a part of our culture. I’ve witnessed comments like this in the past about a blogger or a celebrity, and had thoughts of, “Well, that’s what you sign up for when you’re a celebrity,” or “She shouldn’t have posted a zillion pictures of herself all over her blog.. that’s why I don’t do that!”  One of the first things I said when I saw people’s comments was, “What the fuck?  This was a Save the Date sent to our family and friends, it wasn’t a modeling audition!  I’m not on reality TV! It’s not about my beauty!”  That’s just me perpetuating this crap by telling myself that other women deserve it.  The truth is that being a celebrity, being a blogger with lots of self photos, or having the guts to try out modeling do NOT mean that a stranger has the right to pick any of us apart.  When we take part because it’s what everyone else is doing, we ensure that this will continue for our daughters and granddaughters.
  • Pump some good energy into the world by giving out some genuine compliments to people.  Truly, it helps.
  • Laugh it off.   Lady GaGa taught me this one, when someone said, “I told you she didn’t have a dick!” in the Telephone video after people called her a hermaphrodite.  Anytime I started to rip myself apart this weekend, I’d picture:


and die laughing. (Source)

And most importantly…

  • DO NOT TAKE ON THAT CRAP.  You are so much more than your appearance, and I bet your appearance is pretty damn gorgeous anyway… even your imperfect parts!  If you let this make you hide away or dull your shine, you’re helping to further the idea that a woman is only beautiful if she fits to certain exact standards.  And I don’t want to live in a society where people believe that bullshit, do you?

My teeth are what they are, and since they’re mine I might as well see them as unique and cute.  Until I get some braces or veneers or something I’m just going to have to integrate funky teeth into my definition of beauty, and that’s fine with me.

If that gives some Reddit commenter nightmares, so be it (And seriously, commenter, actual nightmares?  What were they, that you had to pay for my dental bills?!).

110 Responses to Getting Past Appearance Snarking (or, My Crooked Teeth Made a Stranger Puke)
  1. Kayleigh
    October 17, 2013 | 1:11 pm

    I have very bad teeth. At 24 I still get picked on. Society has taught us we need to look “perfect” to be apart of it. It’s bull crap. I was going to get braces but I decided against it. I’m proud of who I am. I’m not going to teach my son to be ashamed of yourself or that there is a need to fix yourself. I can only hope he inherits his fathers nice teeth, but I’m making a statement. No braces !

  2. stephanie
    January 1, 2013 | 11:43 pm

    you are perfect just the way you are, i wish i had like yours and i will laugh everyday. My dentition is terrible, i dont laugh and i rarely smile cos of it. Even my mum tells me how bad it is everyday.

  3. […] intention in going on the show and writing my blog post about it was not to eradicate snark.  That’s a task of Oprah-level proportions.  Instead, I wanted […]

  4. Karen
    December 4, 2012 | 2:50 pm

    I just wanted to say that before I even knew the topic at hand, the picture popped up and I thought,”What a pretty smile she has!” Pretty ironic when I found out that others had been so terribly rude and singled out your smile. Everything in me wanted to shield you from pain because of the unkind words of some random people out there. I realize you don’t know me either, but for what it’s worth, our value is never in how we look, but rather in who we are. So sorry you had to endure this, but so thankful for your “high road” response.

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:15 am

      “our value is never in how we look, but rather in who we are.” YES YES YES!!!! Thank you so much, Karen, for being such a caring person (your nature is obvious just from one blog comment!) and for taking the time to read this and write to me. Wishing you all the best! <3

  5. Kim Corder
    December 4, 2012 | 12:38 pm

    I have to say number 1 I never noticed your teeth , your beautiful and do not listen to those horrid people. Number 2 I have bad teeth , a few have been removed most people do not notice however I never smile with my mouth open and make a point to sheild my smile when I talk. You are very inspiring and I wish you and your hubby a long happy life.

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:13 am

      Kim, thank you so so much. I know how it feels to be insecure about your teeth (haha, obvs) but I really meant what I said – there is no rule that says that beauty has to look any one way. Let that smile out please, the world needs it!

  6. Dawn
    December 4, 2012 | 12:02 pm

    I just came across this in a Yahoo article and felt compelled to comment. Girl you are beautiful, don’t change a thing!! You are also handling this very gracefully and I hope it changes the attitudes of some people out there. I was picked on as a kid because of my teeth, to the point that I rarely smiled and if I did no teeth were showing. I ended up getting braces as a teen but the habit of pursing my lips is still with me today. Anyway, continue on with your head held high and your wonderful smile and know that we stand with you. (and I love your save the date idea, so cute!)

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:10 am

      OMG Dawn, your comment was so sweet and supportive that it got me choked up. Thank you so much for taking the time to be so nice. And unpurse those lips, honey! <3

  7. Dorothy Mantooth
    December 4, 2012 | 6:49 am

    I found this post after seeing the Yahoo article. I’m so sorry this happened to you, and FWIW I think you’re lovely. You’re going to be a beautiful bride.

    The internet leads to this sixth-grade gang-up mentality, where people who wouldn’t even think such things if they met you in person (and I didn’t even notice anything about your teeth; what’s wrong with them? I’ve seen much worse) feel the need to join the crowd and pile on to “prove” how funny and cool they are, as if the people they’re ganging up on aren’t even human. It’s sick and it’s sad, and good for you for speaking up about it.

    I know how hard it is to forget it. I’ve been a victim myself. But please try to. Like I said, half those people probably don’t even really think what they wrote; they wouldn’t even have noticed if they hadn’t been eagerly looking for something to pick on.

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. You’re a beautiful girl.

    • Brenda
      December 4, 2012 | 10:40 am

      People who live in glass houses should not throw stones, I venture to say that not one of the people who made such rude and caddy remarks does not have a skeleton or two in their closet.

      I used to have beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile, now I seldom smile and always cover my mouth if I do smile, my teeth are bad due to bad choices I made in the past! My motto is don’t hate me for my past choice, love me for the good choices I am making today and every day I have lfet on this on!

      So sweetie, you smile till your face hurts!

      • Marla
        December 6, 2012 | 9:08 am

        Thank you Brenda, I hope that you smile too! I bet your smile is beautiful no matter what your teeth look like. :)

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:07 am

      THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU are lovely for leaving such a thoughtful, insightful comment. I totally agree – I think that often with these things, it just becomes a pissing contest of meanness, where everyone participating barely remembers the dental issues that started it off in the first place and just wants to see who can be the most obnoxious. It is such a strange phenomena that I will never understand! But I have seen with the Yahoo article that the exact same thing happens with niceness, which is AWESOME. I hope that you, also, have been able to shake off any time you were a victim of nasty comments. Again, thanks so very much for your kindness. <3

  8. Kris
    December 4, 2012 | 3:25 am

    I can totally see why your fiance loves you. I think that your teeth make you unique in a good way and along with your personality, you are very beautiful. I am glad you didn’t let those jealous people get to you.

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:01 am

      That is the sweetest comment. Thank you so much, you have warmed my heart.

  9. Elaine
    December 4, 2012 | 2:24 am

    Wow! I cannot believe that people even found your teeth something to comment on. I would never have noticed. Your smile is absolutely beautiful and more, importantly it’s a genuine smile of happiness. All the best in married life.

    • Marla
      December 6, 2012 | 9:01 am

      Elaine, thank you so so much! You’re making me smile right now! <3

  10. Wing
    December 3, 2012 | 7:42 pm

    Never mind the haters; you are beautiful just as you are and Jonny, you are one lucky guy. Blessings to both of you, may Love continue to guide your every step.

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 8:11 pm

      Thank you so very much Wing! You are too kind and blessings back at you!

  11. Aly
    December 3, 2012 | 7:39 pm

    Hi Marla,

    I never comment on the internet, but the picture of you and your future husband popped up on my internet homepage yahoo, and i (no word of a lie) thought you were stunning! I at first thought maybe it was of some celebraties getting married with a cute and funny save the date card, but then i saw the title saying ‘appearance snarking’. This is ridiculous! You are gorgeous! you look beautiful!

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 8:10 pm

      Aly, what a sweetheart you are! Thank you so much! We feel like celebrities now with the outpouring of kindness that has happened since the show aired. Thank you for making my day. <3

  12. Alyson
    December 3, 2012 | 4:09 pm

    I just read this and felt compelled to respond. Normally, I kind of blow off stuff like this because I’m like, Ha! Welcome to the internet. But your experience triggered something in me (empathy!?) and I do understand how you feel. From the time I was little, I was self-conscious about my nose, but for some reason over the past 3 years, it became so much worse. I was incredibly self-conscious, hated myself and dreaded seeing my reflection anywhere in public. I am also on youtube and about a year and a half ago someone commented on my nose and it was weird because I didn’t feel as hurt as I thought I would. It was like hearing someone else tell me what I had been telling myself already. I responded that I couldn’t afford a nose job but that I was aware my nose was a problem. They ended up apologizing (a troll first!) and I kind of forgot about it. In April though, I finally got a nose job and I couldn’t be happier. There are things I’m still self-conscious about and if people point out my flaws, I honestly couldn’t care less. It’s when they find your weak spot, that’s when it gets to you. The internet is harsh and it can be honest, but it can be really dishonest and outright insane. People use the internet to be and say things they wouldn’t say in real life because it makes them feel something- I don’t know what- but something they can’t feel otherwise. I’ve been threatened, harassed, bullied- I even had someone tell me they wanted to rape me, pour acid on my face, kill me slowly and then rape my dead body. Really?! These people are looking for a reaction. They want you to be shocked. I’m no longer shocked. I turn it around and give them the reaction they LEAST expect or something to completely confuse them and poof! They go away. They feel stupid and small and ashamed. I stopped reading most comments because usually there will always be one or two that make me want to punch someone, but also because I don’t really care so much anymore. Anyway, getting your teeth fixed would probably help you feel better and it would eliminate that weak spot that the internet can seize on, but only if you would not have responded the same way if they decided to pick on something else. If you would have been hurt by anything the trolls had to criticize you about, then it’s more about just not letting them get to you, but if they got to you because they found your weak spot and you have the ability to fix that for yourself, it goes a long way in your all-around confidence. Good luck.

    • Alyson
      December 3, 2012 | 4:14 pm

      Ha! Sorry that was so long and also, I just realized that my avatar pic is from before the nose job so you can see how I intentionally took the picture so my nose is not in it! Lol!

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 8:05 pm

      Hi Alyson! Thank you sooo much for reading my blog and writing such a thoughtful comment – I truly appreciate it! I really hear your point, that meanness hurts to different degrees depending upon how close to home it hits. I am so happy for you that getting your nose job built up your confidence and it is AWESOME that it has made such a difference in your confidence! I might get my teeth fixed one day, or I might not, I just don’t want to feel like I’m waiting to feel beautiful until the day when/if that happens… you know what I mean?

      I also appreciate your thoughts about giving snarkers the response they least expect, that is so smart. For me, it was more about learning how to feel good no matter what anyone says about me and less about figuring out how to shut them up, but I will take note of your very wise advice in case something like this comes up again in the future (OH GOD I HOPE IT DOES NOT).

      Thanks again! And your avatar looks adorable. <3

  13. Karen M
    December 3, 2012 | 3:54 pm

    I just came across this on yahoo. I have very similar teeth and have debated getting them fixed but they are part of me. I am in my mid thirties and when I was a kid you generally did not get them fixed unless they caused major issues. Why the necessity to have perfectly straight teeth? What’s next mandetory fake nails and hair extensions? Many of the super models actually have crooked teeth or gaps (Kate Moss anyone?). Anyway, your card is wonderful. The wedding guest who shared it probably shared it because it was so cool not expecting to get the backlash. Do not listen to the snarks.
    You look gorgeous and most important happy!

    Have a great day.

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 7:49 pm

      Hi Karen, thanks so much for watching the clip and coming over to my blog! I am so glad that you love your teeth as a part of you, too. I am giving you a big crooked-toothed smile right this minute. You have a great day too! xoxo

  14. Adele
    December 3, 2012 | 3:21 pm

    Hi Marla, WOW…You Dear Heart have an inner glow that just keeps on giving…I had a hard time seeing what all the fuss was about as the sheer joy and happiness that radiates from both of you is all that I believe anyone can see when they look at your adorable picture. Kudos for you! As someone who went thru more attacks personally from individuals looking for ways to malign me for who I am and what I do, all for the fact that they do not like their own self…I understand and congratulate you on doing what needs to be done…Standing up to say I Am Beautiful, now watch me enjoy my life from this day forward even more! God Bless and keep on Smiling it allows others to Smile with you!

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 7:37 pm

      ADELE what beautiful beautiful words! Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart – the sheer joy and happiness radiates from your comment, too!

  15. Pam
    December 3, 2012 | 12:23 pm

    I loved your clever save-the-date picture and when I read your post about the teeth, I honestly had to do a double take because I didn’t even notice anything. You have a beautiful smile and you guys are a cute couple. Wishing you lots of happiness and remember than most people “out there” in the world are decent and not critical like the weirdos who comment online.

    • Marla
      December 3, 2012 | 7:31 pm

      Hi Pam! I completely agree, there is so much more kindness out there in the world than meanness. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and good wishes!

  16. Courtney Sprachmann
    November 30, 2012 | 1:37 pm

    Just saw you and Jonny on The Jeff Probst Show!! Your a true inspiration!! Congrats and don’t let those haters hate!

    • Marla
      December 1, 2012 | 8:26 am

      Courtney, thank you SO much for watching the show and for commenting! Lots of love to you!

  17. robin
    November 30, 2012 | 12:38 pm

    I love the article and I love your attitude! I have exactly the same tooth, lol. I have never even noticed it is out of place. People are such morons. In this World where perfect people have now become the norm, we are all expected (at least women) to meet this physical expectation. It doesn’t end there either does it? Now we have to be beautiful, smart, have a great job, be able to raise kids, etc., etc., etc., and all the while, keep a happy smile. Holy crapola, no wonder we are all going nuts! You’re great! Don’t ever lose that smile.

    • Marla
      December 1, 2012 | 8:23 am

      Robin, I love YOUR attitude! Thank you so, so much for reading and commenting. I agree, it doesn’t just end with the physical. I am very excited for the day that we say fuck it to all of it, accept ourselves as we are, then start a chain reaction that stops women from going nuts!

  18. […] inspirational music playing in the background! If you’re a newer reader, hello and welcome!  This is the appearance snarking post that got us on the […]

  19. Jerilyn
    April 12, 2012 | 10:33 pm

    Marla I just read this post now and I must say that I am appauled that anyone would dare say anything bad about the way you look. I think you are beautiful and I still cant see what these people are talking about…and I have been staring at the picture for a while now trying to see it…I just dont. Its a great picture of the two of you and I love that you went with something that you two felt was more you guys. This is your time so enjoy it. Dont let what people say on the internet ruin it.

    • Marla
      April 13, 2012 | 7:13 am

      Hey Jerilyn, thanks so much and definitely not.. nothing can ruin this for me. =)

  20. Paula
    April 12, 2012 | 5:04 pm

    I’ve known you many years and to be honest, I’ve never even noticed you had crooked teeth. When I read your headline I was confused. I think, perhaps, I’ve been far too preoccupied by how beautiful and amazing you are. If one of those commenters spent 5 minutes in a room with you, it would quickly shame them into realizing how much of an asshole they are for writing something like that. But I wouldn’t advise it. They don’t deserve even 5 minutes.

    • Marla
      April 13, 2012 | 7:12 am

      Thank you so much, sweetpea. You are so good to me and that was a beautiful comment (I’m not just saying that because it’s about me. Seriously, it’s poetry!). I love you!

  21. Adrienne
    April 12, 2012 | 4:44 pm

    Well said, Marla! I too go through ins and outs with my teeth, which have never been perfect. But, I am who I am and don’t feel I have to be perfect for anyone but me. Any my mom said ‘screw that’ when I asked for braces to correct the small gap I have.

    Love yourself lady and keep rocking. You inspire me and can’t wait to see you on your big day.

    Adrienne from Oregon

    • Marla
      April 13, 2012 | 7:11 am

      Awwww Adrienne. You are so beautiful, inside and out! I can’t wait to see you in October! xoxo

  22. suzyqz
    March 29, 2012 | 11:47 pm

    You look fine to me and you obviously look fine to your fiance. Ppl can be such JERKS!!!!! Hope your wedding is great and your marriage is wonderful.

    • Marla
      April 1, 2012 | 12:07 am

      Thanks honey!

  23. Linnette Dooley
    March 26, 2012 | 10:08 pm

    One more thing. . .whenever you have the thought that your teeth are not OK you need to say, “I have the cutest teeth!”

    • Marla
      March 28, 2012 | 7:17 am

      What a sweetie you are – thank you Linnette!!! xoxo

  24. Linnette Dooley
    March 26, 2012 | 10:05 pm

    Your teeth are downright cute. Thumbs down on braces. Your notice is too funny! Thumbs up on that.

  25. Meg
    March 23, 2012 | 10:35 am

    I LOVE this save the date! So clever.

    To be honest, I didn’t even noticed the teeth. The most obvious part is the crazy-happy vibe that the pic sends out and the great relationship the two of you must have. Those critics are probably sad and lonely with self-esteem issues & plenty of insecurities. You’re beautiful, teeth and all. Congrats on your engagement, and I wish you both all the best in your future!!

    • Marla
      March 23, 2012 | 12:39 pm

      Thank you so much Meg! I wish you all the best too. :)

  26. Tanja @ Crystal Clarity
    March 23, 2012 | 1:06 am

    Dear gods above and below, some people seriously need to get LIVES! OK… enough negativity – as you say, that doesn’t add anything to the world.

    But still. REALLY?

    OK, really, really enough. Stopping now – the point of your post isn’t your teeth, it’s internet snarking. I try really, really hard not to snark on people for appearance-related things, be those people celebrities or everyday folks. I prefer to save my snark for politicians and actors who actually do or say incredibly dumb things (yes, Mr Cameron, Mr Limbaugh, and Mr Santorum, I’m looking RIGHT at you)… and to be honest, I’m working on that as well. Snarking makes me feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t make me feel good *about* feeling good, if you know what I mean…

    Occasionally though, on a really bad day, I snark before I think. I’m not proud of it, and reading this post has reminded me of exactly *why* I tend to feel ashamed, and as though the snarky comment I just made is (or should be) beneath me. Just as it’s not my job to be beautiful for anyone else, it’s not their job to meet *my* version of what’s attractive. I know this intellectually – I just have to make sure I keep living it.

    Blessings – TANJA

    (PS – can I add my voice to the OMGSQUEECUUUUUUTTTE! group reaction to the photo :-)

    • Marla
      March 23, 2012 | 12:37 pm

      Tanja Tanja Tanja, you wise woman you. Thank you! You raise a good point – I didn’t mention that I’ve snarked in my time, though I’ve never left internet comments and I stay as far away from appearance snarks as possible because COME ON. Something tells me that even on your snarkiest day you are still kind, intelligent, and delightful.

  27. janet
    March 23, 2012 | 1:03 am

    excellent post and great topic! I LOVE that photo of you btw, crooked teeth and all. I don’t even know what they’re talking about with the discolored teeth?? You’re gorgeous! Yes we can’t let those comments get us down or take it too seriously. Youtube is another place for awesome comments.. ha. I put a video up and got criticized for my “moustache”… lol. The bad thing is, it was actually something I was conscious about growing up. That dark facial hair that’s NORMAL.. I sometimes would bleach it or shave it.. It’s not really that big of a deal though!

    • Marla
      March 23, 2012 | 12:26 pm

      Janet, thank you, and let me just say that a) every time I see a picture of you I think you should be a model and b) I totally feel you because my other self-conscious thing is my hairyness! I’m so sorry that anyone said mean things to you, and I hope it never stops you from doing your thing – and I mean, we’re frigging MAMMALS, we’re supposed to have hair on our bods!

  28. KC
    March 22, 2012 | 11:24 pm

    Right on sister!

    • Marla
      March 23, 2012 | 12:24 pm

      Thanks KC! <3

  29. Laurel
    March 22, 2012 | 10:24 am

    Oh Marla, what a crazy experience, and you’ve totally hit the nail on the head here. You’re beautiful, Jonny’s amazing & you guys are in love – who cares what the Internet thinks?! Easier said than done, I know, but you’ve certainly done it.

    And in an alternate wedding Internet universe, there’d only be hundreds of thousands of comments praising you and Jonny for your awe-inspiring creativity and for the look of pure happiness on your face. xoxo.

    • Marla
      March 22, 2012 | 1:40 pm

      Thank you so much Laurel! A crazy experience is right and I completely agree – if we incorporate strangers’ superficial comments into how we see ourselves, we are going to be MISERABLE LADIES… so we’ve gotta learn what we can from it and totally toss the rest. xoxo

  30. Linda
    March 22, 2012 | 8:10 am

    Personally, I didn’t understand what the negative ninnies were talking about. You are a beautiful woman with a handsome fiance and everyone else is just jealous that you both look adorable and I love the cute play on words with the your “shave the date”. Congratulations, and to all those who are ninnies…. SUCKS TO BE THEM!

    • Marla
      March 22, 2012 | 1:31 pm

      Aww, Linda. Thank you! And let’s bring the phrase ‘ninnies’ into style, shall we? Because I love it!

  31. Jenn
    March 21, 2012 | 11:16 pm

    Moments before I read this blog I saw the following on a friend’s facebook. (There are tons of these things around where you have to forward them or copy and paste if you are or believe x, y and z. However with noticing this post and then reading you blog I feel compelled to share this one…)

    “They say if you’re bisexual, you’re confused. If you’re gay, it’s a sin. If you’re skinny you’re on drugs. If you’re fat, you look nasty. If you’re dressed up, you’re conceited. If you dress for comfort you’re a slob. If you speak you’re mind, you’re a Bitch. If you don’t say anything, you’re rude. If you are sweet to strangers, you are fake. If you cry, you’re a drama queen. If you have male friends, you’re a whore. If you have female friends, you’re a player. You can’t do anything without being labeled.. We live in a society where people can’t survive if they’re not judging the next person…”

    How sad. If only we could take a moment to recognize that each person has his/her own beauty. Differences in each of us (and we all have them) challenge us to think and push our comfort levels to grow as the beautiful people we are.

    I hope some day we can all have the strength “FUCK EM” to those who chose to continue this negativity and realize that is it not even worth a moment of our lives. Thank you for reminding us not to feed these trolls and allow them to grow even for a second in our hearts and minds.

    • Marla
      March 22, 2012 | 1:30 pm

      Hi Jenn! So nice to hear from you, I hope you’ve been well! What you posted sums it up very very well – we really can never win with this judgey shit. Though there is something awesome in that, because if we can’t win, then there’s no point in trying to please others, then we might as well just do what’s right for US and love and accept ourselves. :) Thank you so much!

      • Jenn
        March 23, 2012 | 12:13 am

        I agree wholeheartedly Marla! I just wish that simple task (of doing what’s right and loving and accepting ourselves) was not met with so many obstacles some days. Even if they are only perceived.

        Thank you for allowing us into your process of getting past this negativity!

  32. Jo
    March 21, 2012 | 10:27 pm

    Misogyny is alive and well my friend, and it saddens me that it is trying to weasel its way into your nuptials.

    You’re gorgeous – don’t believe anyone who doesn’t see it. And you and your beau are adorable and quirky together – that’s all that matters. Love to you.

    • Marla
      March 22, 2012 | 1:28 pm

      Love right back at you my dear and thank you so much for your support. I totally agree with you!

  33. Dona
    March 21, 2012 | 9:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing your positive thought process through the unexpected results of a creative and fun effort. All I can do when I see any picture of you and Jonny is sink with that lovely feeling of pure joy and happiness. Your writing is assisting so many in shifting our thinking—providing support for self care and love. Thank you!!

    • Marla
      March 22, 2012 | 1:27 pm

      Hi Dona! Thank YOU so much! I have that lovely feeling of pure joy and happiness when I look at our Shave the Date too. :) I am so so excited to meet you in person and get to know this fabulous woman I have heard so much about.

  34. Petrea
    March 21, 2012 | 8:34 pm

    Marla really you have a gorgeous smile! And you sure can write! Perhaps this whole thing happened because someone needed to speak up about these very issues. You made some important points that need to be heard. I don’t want to perpetuate any of that garbage, passing it on to the next gerneration and so on and so on.

    PS. great invite

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:56 pm

      Thank you, Petrea. :) I am actually really happy that it happened – it definitely built up my confidence. And I’m even gladder if it helps even one person to deal with the garbage!

  35. Yehaken
    March 21, 2012 | 8:01 pm

    Among the best counterflames in web history was found on the NeoGAF forums in 2009. It’s a video game forum. His handling of uncalled for insults is legendary.

    The story:

    A user named Cuyahoga asked the forum if anyone had played the Nintendo DS game ‘Imagine: Party Babyz.’. Which is a game in which you raise a virtual baby.

    Cuyahoga was then absolutely Internet abused by the commentariat, who basically piled on and accused him of being a pedophile, among other things, for asking the question.

    His epic response:
    So, I’m a pedophile because I don’t want to play Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It’s Straight-Up Dawg Time? To throw around these sort of accusations at someone who seeks to do something different suggests quite the insecurity on your part.

    What then happened is that all of the silent people on the forums started making fake game posters for dudebro 2. The original insulted were drowned out by the counter mockery. The thread became thousands of posts long.

    Now, someone is actually making a game called dudebro 2 as a parody.
    Cuyahoga’s Law: outclass the classless by outfunnying them.

    Here’s the Wikipedia entry (not kidding about the legendary nature, at least among video game players)….

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:54 pm

      That is INCREDIBLE. Thank you brotheh. That’s what I was going for in my own way, though thousands of posts worth of counter mockery and an entire video game are way beyond a photo of Austin Powers.

  36. Megan Johnson
    March 21, 2012 | 6:41 pm

    Beautiful photo, beautifully written piece, and I can’t wait until 10-12-12 to meet you (if not before).

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:52 pm

      Hi Megan! Thank you very very much and I’m so excited to meet you too! I have heard so many lovely things about you.

  37. Elinor
    March 21, 2012 | 5:33 pm

    Marla, that photo is *so beautiful*! (And your teeth look even to me…) Go you for turning that experience into help for us all. ♥

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:51 pm

      Thank you so much, sweet Elinor! xoxo

      PS I’ve been thinking of you lots and sending you every big supportive prayer.

  38. Karen B
    March 21, 2012 | 5:21 pm

    I didn’t even see a discoloured tooth – even after looking again! You’re beautiful – and it’s our imperfections that make us unique and beautiful. I suggest that envy lies behind these sorts of comments – and did you ever find out who posted the picture without permission?!!! :)

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:50 pm

      Hiya Karen! Thank you so much for your compliments and for reading. And nope, never figured out who did it – though I wish something meant to be private hadn’t been exposed to this, I know that their intentions were good so it’s all good!

  39. Jacqueline Gates
    March 21, 2012 | 5:17 pm

    Marla dahling, you are just absolutely stunning, inside and out!

    Thank you for turning this into a luscious diatribe on BEINGNESS and BEAUTY,
    and how not to feed the trolls.

    For the record, I didn’t notice your teeth, only the radiant glow of your smile.

    the goddess known as Jacqui
    (who also has crooked teeth!)

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:48 pm

      Awww, Jacqui, thank you thank you. And I’m honored to have crooked teeth alongside you, one of the glowing-est women on the internet. :)

  40. Megan Potter
    March 21, 2012 | 4:49 pm

    Beautiful Lady,

    I honestly didn’t even know what you were talking about when I looked at the photo: What? Crooked teeth? – I love that you made something so authentic and fun it went wild on the net… Awesome on ya!

    To everything else, Yes, Yes, YES! It’s so hard to change our training, but it’s true that w can’t win for losing on this one so I love that you just decided to find techniques for overcoming it. You are wondrous!


    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 10:47 pm

      Megan, thank you so much for reading my blog and being so sweet. You are so right – there’s no taming this beast, so might as well learn to work with it. Big big hugs!

  41. Annie R
    March 21, 2012 | 2:25 pm


    You are one of the most striking women I have ever met. Everything about you is beautiful!!!! It’s oozing out of you like honey from an adorable honey bear. This guys sounds like an idiot and Orie and I have a lot of unresolved childhood issues that we need to take out on a cruel stranger 😉

    Wedding present #1!

    Be well and please take your own advise in this article. I tend to give out advice that I can not seem to listen to myself. Looking forward to the big day! xoxo


    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 3:39 pm

      ANNIE!!! You’re so beautiful!!! You’re beyond an adorable honey bear oozing beauty honey!!! Thank you so much, you and Orie are so good to us. I can sometimes suck at taking my own advice too but in this case I know in my heart how important it is. Biggest hugs!

      • Annie R
        March 21, 2012 | 5:29 pm

        My apologies for “hating” the bully. I realize now that was probably not the most mature reaction and it was something you addressed in your blog. I just can’t understand how anyone could say something so untrue to someone so lovely inside and out. Thank you for your kind words. Orie and I love and miss you both terribly! Take care.


        • Marla
          March 21, 2012 | 10:45 pm

          No way don’t be sorry! You were being a loyal friend and I appreciate that! xoxo

  42. Karen
    March 21, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    Marla, I can’t believe that people had such mean things to say. I think your “shave” the date is really cute. It also explains why Jonny appeared sans beard one day, LOL. You guys look great. You look beautiful and I know you will make a beautiful bride. Don’t listen to the haters; most of them are ugly trolls living in their basement anyway. :)

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 3:33 pm

      Hehehee… thank you very very much Karen! Thank you for reading and for being so nice. I’m glad we could finally put the mystery of Jonny’s beardlessness to rest.

  43. ErinAnn
    March 21, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    Marla, I haven’t met you, but I have a very high opinion of Jonny. Besides the fabulous opinion of you that I have from your blog, and the fact that you are marrying Jonny, I am sure that you are a remarkable and awesome woman.

    People online are often sucky — like soul sucky. I’m sorry that you had to be emotionally assaulted by some snarky jerks. You two look awesome and beautiful. I love your save-the-date card. It’s hilarious and well-executed.

    You are a lovely woman with normal teeth. Keep flashing that wonderful smile.

    Great post. I’ll share it.

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 2:58 pm

      Hi Erin! Nice to meet you in blog world, at least, and hopefully in the real world soon too! Thank you so very much for reading, commenting, and for your genuine kindness – you truly made my day.

  44. Sandra
    March 21, 2012 | 1:45 pm

    I have known you since you were born, and I swear, I never knew you had a “dead” tooth until you just blogged about it. I was one of the lucky ones to receive your “Shave the Date” card, and I did not even notice it there. I say to you as you would say to Alia, “You are beautiful and perfect down to your little toes, and I would never ever change one single thing about you.” You are beautiful, inside and out, and a smart and funny writer, to boot! XXXOOOOOOO

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 3:01 pm

      I love you very very much Aunt Sandra! Thank you, you are such a good aunt. And thank you, also, for your phone call, I’m dying to catch up and I am going to call you back soon. xoxoxoox

  45. tokyotutti
    March 21, 2012 | 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the dealing-with-snarks tool-kit, GROOVY BABY.

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 1:36 pm

      I put the ‘grr’ in swinger baby! YEAH

  46. Jackie
    March 21, 2012 | 12:45 pm

    Dear Marla, I always love your blog posts so I was excited to see you had a new one but I have been straining and frowning at the screen and can’t work out which one is the offending tooth? I then spent ages trying to work out the significance of lolziz in Jonny’s beard (I get it now!)You look beautiful, the whole concept is so clever and your teeth are gorgeous. My teeth are all kinds of weird and broken because I used to open beer bottles with my teeth when I was young and ridiculous and my two front teeth recede behind my vampire teeth. If I line up my front teeth a certain way there is actually a perfect star shape created from the broken gaps between them. I wonder how that random commenter would feel if my gnashers were lined up staring into their soul. Scared I suspect! Crazy crazy world isn’t it? xxxx

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 1:31 pm

      crazy crazy world indeed Jackie! THANK YOU and I’m honored to be in the imperfect soul-staring teeth club with someone as gorgeous and brilliant as you. MWAH!

  47. Ashley Rae
    March 21, 2012 | 12:35 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this. It’s funny, poignant, awesome, and shared! <3

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 1:26 pm

      Thank YOU so much! xoxo

  48. Margie
    March 21, 2012 | 12:26 pm

    Firstly, this is incredibly cute! I see A LOT of save the dates at my day job and yours is awesome. It shows you and your hubby-to-be are fun people and enjoy joking with each other. I really love it!

    Your teeth make you a real woman, not an ugly one.

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:50 pm

      Thanks so much, Margie! “Your teeth make you a real woman, not an ugly one.” <— that's some beautiful wisdom!

  49. Laurie Z
    March 21, 2012 | 12:18 pm

    Huh. All i noticed was how super duper crazy cutely joyful you look in the pic. Seriously, this was my thought process as I took in that adorbs (and i NEVER say “adorbs”) photo: my first thought was “now THAT is a REAL smile, her whole face is just lit up with silly bliss!” (and I KNOW bliss…6 weeks ago, my soulmate/bestest friend & I said “I Do” in a secret beach wedding on a beach in Maui after knowing one another for 20+ years!)…and then -i admit- a quick vision of all those teeny tiny red beard hairs in your sink flashed into my mind…followed by “dang, he has pretty eyes”…which was quickly replaced by the sudden fear that you might buzz off a hunk of your gorgeous hair holding that razor so close to your head…and ending with “what a unique way to announce a wedding date”!
    I still do not see the tooth thing. Honestly.
    Your post was awesome, YOU are beautiful (Jonny too!) and if you ask me, you are never too young to learn to say (or at least think!) “Fuck ’em”!
    Congrats, and keep on smilin’! :)

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:47 pm

      OMG, Laurie. Best comment ever. Thank you thank you thank you. You’re such a lovely, loving person and congrats on YOUR ‘I Do’s! xoxooxox

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:47 pm

      And I couldn’t agree with you more – Jonny’s eyes (and his whole self) are just beautiful!!!!

  50. Dominee
    March 21, 2012 | 12:09 pm

    Your Save The Date is ADORKABLE! I love it! This is truly the most creative thing ever and I love the look on his face. Good for you for not letting the haters get you down. It seems like a lot of people thought it was funny and creative!
    Kudos to you for being amazeballs and uniquely you.
    And I totally agree… write a damn book already. Your writing style rocks my socks.

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:43 pm

      Thank you so much sweet sweet Dominee, you always brighten my day! Kudos right back at you, your bravery in your Fierce Body Love post really inspired me. I love the look on Jonny’s face too.. it’s too perfect. :)

  51. Gina
    March 21, 2012 | 11:39 am

    Marla are you going to write a book one day? If you do, I’m buying it….I bet it would be a best seller!!!

    And girlfriend, I’ve got a dead front tooth, literally! My one front tooth rammed into my best friend’s forehead when we were, hmmm, about 10ish? That baby had to get a root canal and my friend needed stitches! I can’t believe my tooth didn’t fall out….that’s one damn strong tooth! And I’ve had it bleached throughout the years… funny, it never bothered me…..guess bc I had it since I was young, it was just always a part of me….

    ….and know what I have to say to bullies, ‘you point a finger at someone, there’s 3 pointing back at you’……projection baby…….

    Marla, you totally rock! And that pic is so damn awesome!

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:41 pm

      Gina, you are too good to me… thank you. Maybe a book is in my future and if it is I have you to thank for being so encouraging! I love your dead tooth, you’re right, that baby is STRONG!!!!

  52. Cat @ Breakfast to Bed
    March 21, 2012 | 11:15 am

    really noticed the beard first. didn’t even notice your teeth. Great post.

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:36 pm

      Thanks so much Cat. :)

  53. Loran
    March 21, 2012 | 10:50 am

    Oh Marla! The first thing I noticed was your happy, beautiful eyes, and then the date in your fiance’s beard. But teeth? Didn’t even notice. Brilliant post and the picture of Austin Powers with the Here Comes the Bride caption made me laugh. Good on you, my friend!

    • Danielle Taresh
      March 21, 2012 | 11:25 am

      Marla, you never cease to amaze me. You are truly one of the funniest, bravest, most intelligent people. Imagine if everyone had a picture of themselves viewed on the internet? Not one person would get all glowing reviews on their looks, and it all comes back to insecurity, which can kind of make you empathetic towards the snarky sharks because there must be things they truly hate about themselves to attack a stranger, and no one can be happy with things they “hate” about themselves. I have plenty of insecurities about myself and my face and my body etc. But at the end of the day, no one is perfect, and I am happy with what God gave me. And I think your teeth are very cute and unique, in all of the years I have known you I have never once in my life noticed anything wrong with your teeth. You are gorgeous little lady :) And your shave the date is great!

      • Marla
        March 21, 2012 | 12:39 pm

        Thank you so so so much for your sweet compliments, Danielle… hopefully we’ll live in a world some day where people’s default is to say nice things rather than mean ones, but until then we can all just be happy with what God gave us, like you said. :) And you are so gorgeous yourself, always have been!

    • Marla
      March 21, 2012 | 12:35 pm

      Thanks so much lovely Loran! YEAH BABY YEAH

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I'm Marla Hamilton, and this is my blog. I write it because I want to make it very easy for you to feel healthy and great about yourself.Read more about me here.
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