“Show us your teeth!”

(image source)

It’s stories like this that make me feel glad I (a) am out of style (b) don’t even generally realize that I’m out of style and (c) don’t read The Wall Street Journal:

At model casting calls for New York’s fashion week, which begins today, one of the most coveted attributes is an affront to modern orthodontics: gapped teeth.

I’ve actually always found a tooth gap sort of appealing, but making it trendy just ruins everything.

“I think people want to see something different, something off,” says casting director Natalie Joos, who is selecting models for the runway shows of Lacoste and Cynthia Steffe this season.

Other distinguishing characteristics in demand this season include tattoos, piercings, scars and even albino coloring.

Okay, fine, this is just normal envelope-pushing, quasi-transgressive dopeyness.  But here’s what annoyed me (something always annoys me):

Some say the popularity of physical flaws reflects the skepticism of today’s youth toward the air-brushed perfection of the digital age.

“It’s a love for the imperfect, and the authentic,” says Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W magazine. “These are values that are more and more important for younger generations. Originality, authenticity…in a world that is more and more digitally enhanced.”

Buh!  Lo!  Ney!  Today’s younger generations are neither more nor less original, authentic, or enamoured of the imperfect than any other young generation (which is to say:  not at all).  I think this story is more about someone at the WSJ having a deadline and no real news; but I guarantee you that if this stuff is an actual trend, then photo editors will be digitally adding in gaps, scars, piercings, whatever within weeks.  Within six months, there will be fake gap tooth makeup kits at Walmart, and within a year, Michelle Obama will be boldly leading an expensive national campaign to combat unhealthy dental attitudes.

I’ll tell you, if today’s youf really loved the imperfect and the authentic, then I wouldn’t feel like last week’s meatloaf when I walk down the sidewalk downtown.  Eight kids’ worth of stretch marks, a permanently transitional haircut that I’m too busy to figure out, and a broken zipper — I got yer authentic right here.

(cross-posted at The Anchoress)

Simcha Fisher


Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She is sort of writing a book.

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