A month or so ago, I was writing about people getting saline injected into their heads (i.e.: the bagel head phenomenon). Now, it looks like the fashion world is going a bit further down the face and settling in on women’s teeth. It’s certainly less severe than a giant, squishy donut on your forehead, but the trend of tseuke-yaeba still goes against what most people in the west would see as attractive.
This little bit of cosmetic dentistry involves taking just a couple of teeth - the canines to be specific - and getting them altered so that they appear pointed or fang-like. The trend has actually been around for more than a few years, but pop stars that happen to have teeth that look like this have inspired a wave of copycat teeth modifications. The general Japanese populace has encouraged it as well, with men in the country saying that they think the trend is sexy. Apparently, there is a new attraction to imperfection that is sweeping through Japan, a sharp contrast to most of the Western world and its emphasis on linear perfection and symmetry.
Luckily, those interested in getting this dental alteration can get temporary versions and try it out first. If they decide that it looks right on them and don’t have any incidents with their teeth tearing up their bottom lip, they can then move ahead with the permanent version.
The trend has caused a bit of controversy, with some saying that the popularity of tseuke-yaeba is based around the fact that it appears child-like and that men are encouraging it because of their attraction to youthful beauty. I’d have to argue that the popularity is probably mainly because it’s associated with pop stars. If a guy has a crush on a particular pop star and she has fanged canines, he’s going to start finding that an attractive feature in all women. Or he could just have a furry fetish… Either way, this could really be considered one of Japan’s less insane trends and thankfully it’s not one that can cause any permanent damage to people. Aside from, perhaps, the occasional bite wound.