Throughout history and across the world, the phenomenon of diastemata (better known as “having a gap between your front teeth”) have been associated with all sorts of things. In France, gap teeth are called “dents du bonheur”, which means lucky teeth. In Australia, gap teeth in children are supposed to predict future wealth. In some African countries, gap teeth are considered an attractive quality that signifies fertility in a woman. And in the Middle Ages in Europe, having a gap between your teeth supposedly meant that you were particularly…ahem…lustful.
Good luck, money, beauty, and lots of sex? Well, good Lord. No wonder everyone in the fashion world seems to want to part their teeth straight down the middle like the Red Sea.
In February of 2012, the New York Times ran an article about gap-toothed models entitled Generation Gap: Look Who’s Smiling Now. The article proclaimed that gap teeth were now a “enviable fashion calling card”, and pointed out the difference between 2012 and the 1970s, when gaps were still considered a flaw. It’s been a year since that article was written, but I don’t think the gap-toothed trend has died down at all since then. If anything, I see more and more models sporting the gap every time that I open a magazine, and I’ve even read a few things here and there online about people shelling out money to have cosmetic dentists create a gap in their teeth. The look, according to that article in the Times, “imparts something mysterious, seductive, or even feral” to a model’s appearance. The article also quotes Heather Muir, the beauty news director of Allure, as saying that “cookie-cutter beauty doesn’t stand out” and “we’re shifting to something more quirky”.
Indeed, over the past year, models and fashion alike are embracing things that are quirky. The fashion world is becoming more eccentric. And gap teeth are just one way in which that eccentricity is surfacing. If you know me, you know that I’m all about eccentricity, especially in looks. While I recognize the classic beauty possessed by the “Miss America” type of girl, I’m absolutely obsessed with people who have unusual looks. I’ll take distinctivity over traditional beauty any day.
Personally, my goal has always been not to adhere to any traditional beauty standards, but to embrace all things quirky and distinctive. Which means that I really, really love seeing how the fashion world is doing that. Despite all of the unhealthy body image standards that I can’t deny still exist and will probably always exist in the fashion industry, there is progress being made. Beauty is being found in the unusual and the non-traditional, and I hope that trend is here to stay and here to grow and spread out to other areas of the human body.
And as for the dents du bonheur, even if they end up going back out of fashion eventually, they’re always going to be one of my absolute favourite things about my own face. In fact, if it ever closes up (my wisdom teeth still haven’t reared their ugly heads, so who knows what the future may bring), I’m prepared to pay good money for some cosmetic dentistry to get it back. It’s just one of those things that I consider a fundamental part of my appearance. I love my gap. Someday I hope there are people drawing bad cartoons making fun of me, only identifiable by the gap teeth. And as an added bonus, I can spit water through it at people.
I am actually five years old, yes.
What’s your opinion on gap-toothed models? Fabulous trend destined to go on or just a dire need for braces? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you hold the latter opinion, although I might mischievously squirt water at you. Aside from all that, I’d also love to know if any of YOU have a so-called quirky trait to your physical appearance that you absolutely love. Any other proud owners of gaps? Of unibrows? Of giant unicorn horns, perhaps? I say we spread the love of the unusual as far as we can, and let’s keep on sending it down the runways and into the spotlight, too.