Gap teeth run in my family. As a child I learned that I was able to poke my tongue through  my gap just a tad bit. I also learned that Madonna had a gap. As did Lauren Hutton. Sure, they’re not gap toothed black women, but we all shared the same teeth. There were countless times when people asked if I was ever going to get braces for my teeth. I usually asked them why? It wasn’t like I had out of lined teeth, or crooked teeth. My gap was my signature. Unlike myself there are those who didn’t learn at an early age to love their gap. But grew fond of it as they got older. For a recent piece for Cosmo, Uzo Aduba, from Orange Is The New Black, explained her trials and gap tribulations:

When I was little, I didn’t smile much. Don’t get me wrong. I was a happy kid, but I couldn’t stand the space, dead center, in between my teeth. Yeah, I could whistle through it, but so what? That didn’t win me many points on the playground in Medfield, Massachusetts. To me, it was the greatest imperfection. Straight-up ugly. [..]

In the fifth grade, I thought my saving grace had arrived: braces. One by one, classmates would appear at school with a mouthful of metal. While I saw their pain (something about elastic bands that help shift your teeth into place just seems inhumane), I also saw possibility. This was my ticket.

I took the approach any 12-year-old girl would: I begged. My mother waved me off. I begged some more. My mother told me I was beautiful just the way I was (Liar!). I begged with tears thrown in, as an attempt at an encore (my career path was starting to take shape at this point).


Growing tired of my persistence, my mother sat me down. “Uzo, I will not close your gap and here’s why. You have an Anyaoku gap, my family’s gap.” She told me the history of her lineage and how much of her family, extended and immediate, had this gap. It’s a signature in the village she grew up in. People know the Anyaokus, in large part, by that gap. They also revered them for it. In Nigeria, my mom explained, a gap is a sign of beauty and intelligence (Take that, Chiclets!). People want it. My mother desperately wished she had the gap but wasn’t born with one. She continued to lay on the guilt, explaining that my gap was “history in my mouth” — but that if I asked for braces again she would concede with a heavy heart.

Although her mother’s words of wisdom weren’t enough Aduba eventually tried to go the route of getting a fake piece to place in her gap.  She soon realized that it wasn’t worth the hassle. Click here to read the rest of Aduba’s piece.   Clutchettes, was feature you were ashamed of as a kid that you changed, or learned to love as an adult?

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  • Cumberbatchfan

    I effing LOVE my gap. I’m getting all sorta f modelin jobs because of it! Apparently looking like Lupita having read hair or gap teeth is really popular in the infustry(for now,you know how trends go,here one day gone tomorrow). But my gap has gotten me jobs. I look so beautiful with it,and certain men just randomly come up to me and tell me how sexy I am evacuee of it. Or how I’m “real” because I didn’t get it fixed,which is BS surgery or not improving ones apprence doesn’t make you a phony person in my opinion,but none the less I still get the oh she’s a “real” woman compliments because of my gap. As well as certain African men that say I’m totality and a sex goddess. Lol.

    I think it’s allll BS to be perfectly honest,but considering how teeth I eased Americans are I think it’s alway wonderful to have someone blow smoke up your ass every so often lol you know? It’s nice that I get positive compliments to offset the “you should get your teeth fixed”. Which I did,I had braces,my teeth were straight,I didn’t book jobs and try said I didn’t look “unique” anymore and a few dudes said the same,and I felt like I wasn’t myself. Once I took my retainer out and allowed my teeth to spread,more jobs! And I felt more “authentic”. It gives me character.

    After all it’s just a damn GAP. What’s the big deal? Lol

  • Mary Burrell

    Let’s hear it for us sisters with the gap. I have always loved mine. The dentist asked me if i wanted to close mine up, i said, “No way.” It’s what my daddy gave me. I love her gap. Lauren Hutton a super model from back in the day had a gap. It’s what make us unique.

    • That is such a sweet story Sister. :)

    • Primmest Plum

      Dentists are a funny group. I asked if I could only have my gap shortened NOT close. Just shortened. He acted like I asked him to give me a root canal without anesthesia lol. He got all short and adamant with me. Needless to say, I never went back.

      However I must admit, even though I may not have been the most comfortable with my gap, I have never had a negative comment about it, in regards to my looks.

  • Primmest Plum

    I have a very prominent gap, I had gotten braces when I was in grammar school and it worked to close my gap, but I lost the retainer. Although the rest of my teeth stayed in alignment and the my overbite was lessened my gap came right back lol and in blink, it seemed.

    I’ve been contemplating getting invisalign, but I’m quite torn. It’s not that I find my gap particularly attractive it’s just particularly me. If anything, I may want it to be smaller–but not gone. There’s something about us gap toothed women lol. Either way, it’s nice to hear about Uzo and her gap. It makes me smile a little wider. :)

  • Kai26

    “Clutchettes, was feature you were ashamed of as a kid that you changed, or learned to love as an adult?”

    Clutch doesn’t have an editor anymore? Lately, there have been so many posts with errors in them.