Beauty Buzz | Japanese “Yaeba” Trend

Over the past year or two, there’s been a push for individual beauty. Natural imperfections, like a gap smile (a Lara Stone and Lauren Hutton signature), and freckles (drawn-on freckles were common sightings on F/W 11 and S/S 12 runways), have made beauty more personal and individual.

In Japan, “yaeba” (or snaggleteeth, in English) has been a trend for some time but is more visible as of late. Japanese men find the feline look attractive and the imperfection makes women appear more approachable and cute. As such, Japanese dental offices are offering cosmetic procedures where artificial teeth are applied onto natural canines with non-permanent glue to lengthen and make them stand out. Dr. Emilie Zaslow, assistant professor of communication studies at Pace University, attributes the popularity to a fixation with youth. “The gapped tooth is a sort of preorthodontic or early development, and the naturally occurring yaeba is because of delayed baby teeth, or a mouth that’s too small. It’s this kind of emphasis on youth and the sexualization of young girls.”

So, is a contrived imperfection different than a natural imperfection? Dr. Zaslow suggests that these procedures are no different than Botox. She believes that contrived imperfections have nothing to do with imperfection. “It’s not based in self-acceptance,” she says.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

WGSN Insider Bulletin

Get more with a WGSN membership. Click for a demo.

Related Stories

WGSN Beauty

Beauty and the packaging beast

Why Yayoi Kusama matters today

Self-care is homeward bound