What is "beautiful?" Depends who you ask! Beauty is a very subjective thing, and its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask. What's ugly and hideous to one person is attractive and sexy to the next.
There's no better example of this than the Japanese yaeba phenomenon. Some people in Japan think that a yaeba 八重歯, or snaggletooth, can be the cutest part of a woman. When those front teeth stick out or overlap, it just drives some Japanese men crazy. But why?
Some say that yaeba makes a woman look cute, almost childlike; like when a kid's teeth aren't fully grown in yet. Lots of cultures value signs of youthfulness – yaeba is just looking at youth in an unusual way.
Crooked teeth have become so appealing to some people that you can get a procedure called tsuke yaeba 付け 八重歯 or "attached snaggletooth" to get your own, fake yaeba.
Want to get some fake chompers? Hop on over to Dental Salon Plasir in the Ginza district of Tokyo, one of several places across Japan where you can get tsuke yaeba.
Dental Salon Plasir offers a tsuke yaeba procedure that adds custom fitted, removable caps to your teeth for around the low, low price of about US$400.
Don't think it's worth the money? Then maybe their commercial will sell you on the procedure. Watch as a woman goes through the whole process of getting tsuke yaeba:
And if you're still not entirely sold on the idea of getting some teeth capped, maybe the allure of fame will do it for you. There's even a new idol group comprising solely girls with yaeba called TYB48.
They've got all the same looks as idol sensations AKB48 – plaid skirts, giant bows, and a young, innocent demeanor. The only way you that TYB48 looks from pop battalion AKB48 is their not-so-perfect teeth.
It should be obvious (but still worth mentioning) that, like any other aspect of beauty, the attraction to yaeba isn't anywhere near universal. In the grand scheme of things, the attraction to yaeba is very niche, but it's undeniable that the attraction to yaeba is pretty unique to Japan.
To me, the yaeba phenomenon is interesting because emphasizes that all over the world, people sometimes do weird things for beauty. After all, you don't have to look far to see the strange, sometimes harmful things that people do for beauty, like liposuction, Botox treatment, tattooed eyebrows or lipliner, or harsh, orange tans.
If anything, the whole yaeba trend seems pretty innocuous in comparison. Unlike a lot of other beauty procedures, tsuke yaeba is completely temporary and harmless.