How Do Our Bodies Become Trends?: The Fashion Industry's Contradictions

At, or around age 12 my big sister died. Her mouth housed a huge gap in between her two front teeth, and after her passing, I began to notice a space forming in between my own. At the important age of 13, I begged my parents to help me fix this, and they agreed. We proceeded to fix all cavities, and made numerous visits to a dentist before getting an ok, a blessing, and a referral to a downtown orthodontist.

After my first, and only visit, she poked and prodded, and finally asked me to lay back and relax, while she spoke, over me to my parents. Little did we all know, she was watching my mouth in relaxed action. She noticed an aggressive over bite, and the meanest tongue thrust. She broke the news that she would have to retrain my tongue function, remove 4 teeth to bring all together, and finally, after all that, she couldn't guarantee the gap wouldn't come back. Needless to say, the parents and I decided to live with it. I even made myself believe it was some sort of sisterly blessing.

High school and college came and went. I survived my twenties with this oral imperfection. I and my friends began to notice that I always smile the same, in every photo. I never show my teeth, even down playing them in conversation. Was I ashamed?

I remember over a year ago, meeting a guy online, and us hitting it off amazingly, like old friends. I was blown away by his photos, and he mine. When we first spoke, it was like 2 old friends. I was excited! Upon reviewing both of our deal breakers in dating, he revealed that teeth were very important to him. I froze. He explained he was an actor, and how a person looked was very important for his profession, and went into detail about how a woman's teeth had to look. I froze. On the days leading up to our date, I was worried, and insecure about everything. I wore a great dress, and got my hair done. He ultimately just wanted me to come back to Brooklyn with him. Booooo!

Then there have been all the weirdos who have referenced a heightened sexuality with women who have gaps in their two front teeth. Ugghhh!

This brings me to today. I just happened to watch the latest episode of America's Next Top Model, where the ladies are getting makeovers. One particular, had a slight space, and Tyra informed her that they were going maximize the 'now' look, alter her smile to give it a wider look. Really??!?!?!?!? I sat in awe as I watched this girls' less than one-sixteenth of an inch space get filed out to a quarter millimeter.

So many magazines have written recent articles about how having this spacing is the new trend. Actress Anna Paquin, from True Blood; 'it' girl, and Louis Vuitton model Lara Stone, Madonna, and Laura Hutton, have all made it ok to have a more 'natural smile'.

So what do I do, guess I'll start showing it off, it's about time I came back in style.

In 11th grade, when it was time to register for the following years' senior classes, Robyn D. Webb knew that Honor's English was a joke, and that she should be granted entry into Gifted and Talented / Advanced Placement English for her final year of high school, in Baltimore. She was, but proceeded to pursue a career in Fashion. Throughout, she has continued to use writing as a vehicle to 'decompress', sort through emotional highs and lows, and usual bouts of venting. Currently, Robyn is thriving in New York City, freelancing in the world of fashion, and looking to finally tap her skill of writing.

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