Thursday, July 23, 2009

notes from a diastematic-American

It isn't a surprise or a brand new fact that a strong part of our American beauty ideal are huge white smiles, but I have noticed recently that this particular trait has a lot of propulsion behind it. That is, ideals hiccup along, variously challenged or noticed or commented upon or sneered at for whatever reason, but the standard for teeth seems to be inflating exponentially without a lot of attention paid to it, unless we are talking about the occasional egregious individual case. At least as far as I can see. The demand for a huge straight-teethed white smile (in all its implications, including socio-economic) has grown until people are starting to look downright horsey. Or kind of like a cartoon of the DNC donkey. I mean...80s hair grew and grew and grew, and no one commented on it (kind of) until styles deflated and we could make fun of it; shouldn't we be able to step back and snicker at this now? It's off-putting. If you watch any recent movie made with a cast that's 40 and under, the teeth are generally quite frightening, taken as a group: very big, very glowing white, very picket fence. At a certain point they start to stick out like a 555 movie phone number, fake and jarring. Makes you want to take out a dry erase marker and scribble on them. Or hand the actors an ear of corn or something.

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