updated 17 Nov 2011, 01:40
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Tue, Nov 15, 2011
The New Paper
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Crooked teeth? Perfect

Perfectly aligned, straight, white teeth is the standard most aspire to.

In Japan, though, that concept is being thrown out of the window.

Women there are going for the entire opposite of straight pearly whites. They are embracing the crowded and crooked with accentuated canine teeth called the "yaeba" look.

Dentists in Tokyo have seen a rising number of people wanting to have this look, Daily Mail reports. No figures are given.

The look is an attempt at making a smile more child-like, replicating the odd alignment of smiles that are affected by delayed baby teeth.

The style has been a favourite topic on Japanese blogs, Facebook fan pages and Japanese TV. It is seen as a calculated addition of imperfection to a pretty face, adding to a woman's desirability.

The New York Times reports that this is part of the desire to appear younger.

Pace University's Dr Emilie Zaslow, assistant professor of communication studies, tells the newspaper: "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 sexualisation of young girls."

The trend follows the Western fondness of late for the gap-toothed smile - also a "young" dental look.

Made popular by the likes of models Lara Stone, Georgia Jagger and Jessica Hart, the Madonna-style grin became a requested look at New York salons last year.

Mr Vincent Devaud,a ceramist from Pasadena, California, adds: "What makes a person desirable and attractive? It's not the symmetry; it's perfect imperfections."

Kirsten Dunst would surely agree.

The actress, who appeared in Spider-Man, tells Elle UK that she is very fond of her "snaggle teeth".

"I love my snaggle fangs," she is quoted as saying. "They give me character and character is sexy."

"Yaeba" sites have latched on to her look, celebrating its crookedness.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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