The Daily Grind Video

As if we needed another reason to be obsessed with Uzo Aduba.

One of the many reasons fans love the woman behind “Crazy Eyes” is because of her seamless confidence on and off screen regarding her personal appearance, whether it be those eyes of hers or her bantu knots. But in a column with Cosmopolitan, Aduba revealed her early struggles of dealing with what she calls her “greatest imperfection.” The Nigerian-American star reminisces on some distinctive childhood memories of wanting fix her gap teeth even after being told the historical origin from her mother. Over the years, Aduba has learned to love her gift.

Catch a few highlights from the column.

The history of Aduba’s gap:

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.

The moment she accepted her gap:

“I hate the gap in my teeth,” I explained.

He paused, fixing a few things on his camera and said, “Really? I think you have a beautiful smile,” and went back to shooting.

I’ll never forget that moment. It’s amazing how years of hearing the same response from family and friends constantly had fallen on deaf ears. But right then, I heard it and felt beautiful. A professional photographer with a fancy camera had complimented me on my smile. Gap and all.

Why she loves playing Crazy Eyes:

I see the irony of playing a character famous for an unusual physical characteristic, but it’s an important daily reminder of how far I’ve come. She is perfectly imperfect. She owns who she is and is unapologetic.

We admire Uzo Aduba’s process in growing to love your imperfections. Maybe we should all take some notes from the star.


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