For most us, having a straight, pearly white smile is considered beautiful and attractive. Many of us even endured the torture of braces to help us straighten out those not quite adult teeth growing wayward in our mouths. However over in Japan a new trend called Yaeba is emerging among Japanese women. Young women in the Asian country are flocking to dentists to have their incisors artificially enlarged so that their smile resembles that of a young girl instead of a grown woman.

According to blogger Michelle Phan:

“It’s not like here, where perfect, straight, picket-fence teeth are considered beautiful. In Japan, in fact, crooked teeth are actually endearing, and it shows that a girl is not perfect. And, in a way, men find that more approachable than someone who is too overly perfect.”

However some educators believe the issue is deeper than women wanting to show their imperfections and men being intimidated. They feel that this new trend is just another example of a disturbing trend that involves the sexualization of young girls. A natural Yaeba occurs due to delayed baby teeth or a small mouth so it can be assumed that any men attracted to a woman with that smile are attracted to young girls.

While many of us here in the U.S. probably wouldn’t pay to take our smiles back to our wonder years, we do pay for things like hair coloring, retinol skin products and Brazilian waxes to help maintain our youthful appearance. Perhaps we’re no different than the Japanese.

Would you pay for an imperfect smile?

– Danielle Pointdujour

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  • Bunny

    Hmm…could this have anything to do with the pointy incisors that are ever-present in female anime characters?

  • Alex

    Not sure if it’s true but I used to watch a series of videos of an African American woman teaching English in Japan. In the area she was in the age of consent is 13. Ewwww. I’ve also heard that girls in Thailand get braces (even if they don’t them) to make them look younger. Every culture makes their own rules about what is acceptable, but coming from an American it sounds disgusting.