Japan. The forward-thinking land that first brought us lash extensions and 100-degree therapeutic baths is now responsible for a new beauty trend, but this one is sending shivers down the spines of traditional orthodontists. The country’s latest brain trust? Intentionally crooked teeth.
The look is called “yaeba,” Japaneses for “double tooth,” and it’s achieved by attaching non-permanent mini-fang caps to the canine teeth in an attempt to look more childlike, and more desirable. Emilie Zaslow, PhD, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Pace University explains, “The naturally occurring ‘yaeba’ is because of delayed baby teeth, or a mouth that’s too small.”
The logic then, (such as it is) is that a crooked smile infantilizes women, making them look less “perfect” and therefore more easily “attainable” to men. The kicker? Messing with your smile costs upwards of $350. But that hefty price tag hasn’t kept eager Japanese women from crowding into dental offices to have the procedure done.
All across Nippon, dentists are catching on and beginning to offer Yaeba alterations, a dental procedure that involves shifting the lateral incisors slightly and giving the woman’s canine cuspids more prominence. The fanged, vampiric effect (pictured above) is apparently the picture of beauty according to the overwhelming majority of the Japanese public. Commentators say that the animal look is incredibly appealing and the dash of imperfection makes women more approachable and less intimidating. The procedure is temporary and uses an adhesive to lengthen the canine against the profile of the other teeth—some patients, however, have elected to make the change permanent. What do you think, are these girls more cute than before?