Good news, ladies with braces: those little metal suckers in your mouth are actually now a fashion statement. Yes, it’s true – Asian teens have actually been shelling out the big bucks for fake braces. And just to be clear, they’re not trying to fix their teeth or anything like that. Nah, they just consider being a brace face to be super trendy and cool.
The braces trend has apparently being going strong for about four years now in places like Malayasia, Indonesia and Thailand. Personally, I’m pretty shocked by this… although maybe I shouldn’t be. Because the cost of dental repair like this is so expensive over there, not everyone can afford braces, and so Asian teens see them as a sort of status symbol.
As a former brace face, I can say with absolute certainty that I would never opt to wear those on my own again. I had braces for a few years back when I was 13-years-old, and the experience was sort of awful. For one thing, I spent a year being what my brother called “the ultimate nerd” – I had braces AND glasses (the horror). For another thing, I couldn’t eat some of my favorite foods, like corn on the cob, and I couldn’t chew gum. It was kind of the worst. Also, those constant appointments to get new colors were so stressful. I could never get in on the latest brace color trend for some reason and it was totally annoying. And don’t even get me started on those horrible rubber bands.
What I’m really trying to say is that braces aren’t exactly a desirable thing here in the U.S., although the majority of us have dealt with them. But over in Asia, teens are lining up to buy black market braces that could cost about $100 each because they think they’re a cool fashion statement. I’m pretty fascinated by the idea that something considered “nerdy” here is considered awesome over there. I mean, in the United States, braces generally represent the awkwardness of adolescence. But in Asia, they’re a status symbol of wealth and privilege. It’s definitely an interesting way to look at it.
The downside to this braces trend? It’s actually harming a lot of teens. The fake braces obviously aren’t applied by a professional and so wires can easily become loose in your mouth. One site even points out that two teens have actually died from wearing them. That’s pretty scary stuff.
Would you ever willingly wear braces even if you had perfect teeth? Have you ever had them? Do you wear them now? How do you feel about them? Tell us in the comments.