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?

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  • sweetpisces

    A lot of it has to do with some of their popular singers or “idols”…these entertainers have this kind of teeth and many girls try to emulate them

  • T. Harris

    My teeth are naturally perfect. I wouldn’t want to change it.

  • Laurie

    Oh wow I had a few Japanese friends with what we could call here, “bad teeth” didn’t know there was a term for it in Japan. Most of them were born with that type of teeth. I didn’t know it was indicator of youth, I just thought that they didn’t care for the straight teeth craze here in the West.

    • T. Harris

      I’m currently studying here and there are a lot of Japanese people with crooked teeth. In addition to the reason stated in the article, the reason why they don’t get their teeth straightened is because braces in Japan are much more expensive than in America, so most people decide to just live with it.

  • well…

    Not to be culturally insensitive but their obsession with youth and all things child like is a little creepy. The more I learn about East Asian pop culture the more disturbed I am…I wonder if pedophilia is a big problem there.