so many topics in the works we need to get to, but i made a promise to a homegirl that this topic would be up next and as a man that is true the words i choose to be true to, let’s get to it. a famous elf named buddy once opined that ‘[he] just liked to smile. smiling’s [his] favorite!’ to which i say, ‘right on.’ it seems like there are two main reasons why something shows its teeth. for most creatures, it’s an imposing scare tactic. for us humans, it seems to be a sign of enjoyment and pleasure. as i like being enjoyed and pleasured, smiling comes in handy. it also seems that people like to smile prettily.
i feel i can only speak towards americans because i have no idea about teeth habits in other countries, save for the english (not known for their teeth) and the canadians (where the absence of teeth is like a purple heart for hockey). in order to ‘smile well’ americans seem to have chosen braces as the vehicle to do so, but there seems to have been a shady collusion that took place at some point between dentists, orthodontists and parents. that agreement led to years of awkward class pictures and mockery for kids in middle school. at a time when kids do not really need a specific reason to get picked on, parents handed bullies everywhere a mouthful of metal and months of metal mouth insults. sure it’s as cliched as calling little timmy four-eyes because he needs glasses due to the fact that he’s blind as a stinkin bat, but in middle school, rarely are kids worried about cliches.
i, personally, had braces two and half times plus one hulking contraption of plastic and metal that was so cruel i’m pretty sure it was created in some faraway medieval dungeon. the first time i got braces, i got the taunts and i took my awkward lumps and moved on. then, my (allegedly) wise teeth showed up and pushed everything around and screwed it all up again. out came the wisdom teeth, in went more braces and bing-bang-boom my teeth were as straight as the army during the clinton and bush administrations.
leaving aside the fact that dentists and orthodontists push this crap like they are on the corner slinging crystal (breaking bad. so good. so, so good.), braces bite. they suck like hoovers. all the way around. getting braces is akin to the (hopefully now defunct) ‘custom’ of foot binding. forced manipulation of one’s body due to some cultural or societal pressure for a particular ‘look’. speaking of buddy the elf (what’s your favorite color?!), will ferrell has some gangly, gnarly, jacked up mandibular teeth. you know who cares? no one. it fact, not getting braces and keeping that gap can actually make you a star.
you might not know paul scheer by name, but you there’s a chance you’ve seen his face. if you look at him with his mouth closed like in this picture, he is the creepy guy you avoid at the bar, but because he’s never had braces (as seen here), he is a comedy star and all over television. same goes for michael strahan, take a look. strahan is a retired football player, but you see his face on every damn subway commercial or whenever something happens in the nfl because he has a gap in his grin big enough to drive a buick through. it’s his personal marketing tool and he knows it. without having that extraordinary amount of space between two teeth, he is just another ex-football player no one really thinks about.
braces take special, custom built, unique, user specific smiles and homogenizes them to some creepy uniform smile from a crest commercial. i hate braces. i mean, how can you really get down with something that doesn’t allow you to eat popcorn or bite an apple? the only bracing that should be going on is embracing. embracing good ideas, friends and big gulps. ‘welp see ya later.’