Snaggle Tooth Cuties Paying Out the Wazoo in Japan
In the US, it’s common to receive braces to straighten crooked teeth for a prettier appearance. But beauty comes in all forms, and women in Japan are paying for just the opposite.
The yaeba trend first sunk its fangs into Japan in 2013 and led tons of Japanese girls to get costly dental procedures to make their smiles crooked. It gained such huge popularity that a J-Pop band cropped up purely devoted to the trend–TYB48, or Tsuke Yaeba Band 48. Beyond that, Peter Van Buren of Xpat Nation also found a Japanese blog devoted to the yaeba trend.
Yaeba refers to long, doubled-up canines and, in Japan, is commonly associated with youth. It means “double tooth.”
As you can see, Yaeba procedures are meant to mimic the overcrowded teeth often seen in children. The crowding gives a “double tooth” effect, or teeth that overlap each other due to the crowding. With tsuke-yaeba, fake double teeth, you can mimic the effects of natural crowding.
While some Japanese women are opting into the kawaii, or cute, trend on a temporary basis with removable tsuke-yaeba, others are going for permanent (and expensive!) procedures.
The association of yaeba with youth and innocence is a major driving force in the decision to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to turn straight smiles into jagged, childlike grins. Crooked teeth with long canines that reminisce of the innocence of years past is attractive to many Japanese men. In short, it’s “cute.”
Even young girls in middle and high school are opting to do the tsuke-yaeba procedure. Some offices even offer discounts to girls with student IDs.
Japan has a long-standing history of cuteness and youth in their fashion trends. For example, “me no shita chiiku” is a Japanese makeup trend of applying blush under the eyes to appear either like you’re a delicate doll who has just had a good cry and needs someone to watch over them, or to appear very young and innocent.
So next time you think your teeth are too crooked or your eyes too puffy and red to be pretty, remember that there are women who intentionally try to replicate the look with makeup and expensive dental procedures—all in the name of beauty.