What's the perfect smile? From Japan to Africa
I remember entering junior high and witnessing a majority of my classmates all wearing a socially acceptable grill on their teeth to achieve the most perfect straight smile. Although braces can be beneficial to dental health, and and fixing disorders of jaw joints, a majority of people get them to achieve straighter teeth for a more appealing look. Even though my overbite did not cause me too much trouble, growing up I begged for braces. I was a late bloomer, and did not receive my braces until my senior year of high school, up until the end of my freshman year. I wanted that perfect smile, which to me is having all my teeth straight and aligned properly. During those two years I struggled with my braces by telling myself everyday my jagged teeth will be no more, and I will be more appealing. This is in California, Los Angeles. Where many people like myself deal with issues such as not wanting a crooked smile, or having a gap between our front teeth. Half way across the sea, we get a country, where a crooked smile is actually embraced, and people spend the big bucks to even make their teeth crooked.
Yaeba, translated into "double tooth", is a look that women are paying big bucks to attract Japanese men. This look gives a gal some fangs, and misshapen teeth. Blogger Michelle Phan, has even stated that in a culture like Japan, they are more pleased with more authentic looks, than perfection. Others have stated that the crooked teeth phenomenon makes a woman look cute, almost childlike which brings out youthfulness. Men also find women with crooked teeth more approachable than a woman with a straight smile.
Across another ocean we hit the biggest continent, and the source of where all humans probably started off at - Africa. I find gaps in teeth so exotic, and makes a person simply stand out. The french refer to gap's in the front of your teeth as 'dents du bonheur', lucky teeth. In 2010, the french media stated that gapped teeth were more fashionable than ever. In Nigeria, gap teeth are a sign of beauty, luck, and sex appeal. It is considered extremely attractive, and a trait that is seen as exotic and a sign of wisdom, and history. Countries like France, and Africa embrace the unique qualities that our genetic traits have blessed us with, and does not consider it a flaw to be corrected. Diastema - or the proper term to refer to having a gap in between your front teeth, is very common among the mammal kingdom.