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Many of us, who don’t have such a smile, feel self-conscious about this fact, and even feel too shy to smile widely. However, not all the world shares this opinion and here is proof.
The weird trend of Yaeba, that became popular in Japan in the 2010s, took an opposite side. Crooked teeth hit the top of fashion beauty trends. The same way as the procedure of teeth straightening is popular around the world, the procedure of “teeth crooking” once became the most sought after among Japanese girls.
Japan always had a reputation of the region where the most twisted and freaky trends are born. Speaking about dental fashion, we can’t skip mentioning Ohaguro – a trend of dying teeth black. It lasted up to the Meiji period and there are several assumptions about it.
Some say one Emperor who had problems with teeth initiated this fashion. He didn’t want anyone to have teeth whiter than he had. Others suppose that teeth blackening were a ritual for women who got married, as a sacrifice to her future husband. There is also an assumption that blackened teeth were the sign of wealth and high social status. In addition, geishas used to do it.
Yaeba (meaning – Snaggletooth or Double Tooth), is a deformation of the fangs on purpose. They should protrude ahead, like on the cat’s jaws or on the jaws of children whose dental system is still in progress. And, of course, like everything in Asian culture, it’s not only an aesthetic whim; there’s some philosophy behind it.
What are the two things worshipped in Japan? It is cats and young girls. They are considered the cutest and most adorable creatures in the world. A girl who looks like both is associated with the quintessence of cuteness, innocence, and purity.
Besides, there are some social issues too. Japanese society is a conservative group of people who value traditions, modesty, and temperance. Marriage is still considered the main purpose of a woman’s life. A girl with imperfect teeth has more chances to get married, because modest and reserved Japanese men avoid women who have “too much” something, even if it’s perfection.
Of course, fashion victims are not crazy to distort their straight teeth by dental braces or harm them in any other ways. Porcelain veneers, lumineers, or crowns worn on their natural teeth create the effect of crookedness. It’s even possible to wear fake removable onlays that don’t influence teeth at all.
Several factors make the Yaeba trend very problematic.
Crooked teeth create an imbalanced strain over the jaw that affects not only dental health, but causes digestive problems, headaches, and other functional health disorders. It’s not a matter of aesthetic but a matter of health.
Although this trend looks like breaking the beauty standards and self-acceptance, it is not. There’s nothing body positive in attempts to change your appearance in order to seem more approachable and convenient for other people.
The associations with a child’s smile remind us that fetishization and sexualization of children is still a huge problem existing deep in the social conscience.
Therefore, crooked teeth is a dental health problem that should be solved for the sake of proper functioning of the entire human body. Although fake teeth can be fun to wear sometimes, making it a fashion trend is probably not the healthiest option.