I Grew Up Too Poor To Smile

The Establishment
Jun 9, 2016 · 4 min read

By Ijeoma Oluo

I remember the first time I tried to Photoshop a tooth into my mouth. I was trying desperately to fill the dark spot visible at the corner of my mouth. I hadn’t needed to in the past, but this most recent tooth I lost was right on the border of my smile line. I was looking at this picture of me smiling wide with pure joy and thinking, “Oh no, everyone will know.”