Being a 20-23 year old with braces was not one of the easiest things I had to adjust to. I was already very self-conscious and worried that wearing braces would make me look younger than I was. Unfortunately, this fear of the braces was correct. I was ID-ed everywhere I went and was even asked for my ID when purchasing cigarettes for a friend (age limit 16 at the time) and again another time to purchase child’s Nurofen. In terms of work, I did find new people approached me differently and would say I was cute and looked much younger than I actually was. In some ways this was not a negative thing, but I did feel at certain points undermined or brushed off by people who did not know my capabilities or experience. However, this should not be misconstrued, as these people may have undermined me or treated me like a child regardless of the braces.
My boyfriend at the time was completely fine with the braces and was understanding of my insecurities. On a general basis, no one really commented on the braces and it was my own insecurities that made this a difficult and emotional time in my life.
Please see below a few ideas I found useful whilst having braces that did not make me feel so self-conscious about them.
- More natural toned make up
- No bright blusher
- No bright lip stick. I tended to used Vaseline on my lips
- I would draw attention to my upper face by using eye shadow and mascara
- For my long face shape, I found wearing my hair down diverted some attention from my face and
- I did not wear high neck lines or turtle neck tops. I found this to better proportion my face and ensure
- that the braces did not look so striking
- Do not have coloured elastics for the brace work. Keep to clear elastics