Friday, May 14, 2004

Biting Commentary

Teeth are the new boobs.
For a while there, it looked like hair might be the new boobs, but teeth have come up from behind, passing hair by a nose and settling comfortably into first place, like a set of choppers sinking luxuriously into a slice of coconut cream pie.
Teeth – the new ‘it’ accessory.
It’s just a pity the new ‘it’ accessory often bears as close a resemblance to reality as a Chinatown knock-off purse does to an Hermes original.
You cannot (simply can not) switch on the television without being battered nearly insensible with the gruesome images generated by the seemingly endless stream of reality-based plastic surgery makeover shows.
Now every one-horse town (equipped with at least one hitching post and a plastic surgery saw-bones) is getting in on the trend with their own localized versions of the popular programming; but local or national – analog or digital – the made-over appear to be morphing collectively into a singular vision of beauty.
Times have most definitely changed; it wasn’t all that long ago that a makeover meant a new hairdo, brighter lipstick and a swishy dress. (And by the amazed and delighted looks on the faces of the makeover models, absolute and total thrilled disbelief when told: “And as a special surprise you can keep the clothes!” As if J. C. Penney himself were standing backstage, watching the plump lady in the St John’s twinset, ready to snatch the sweaty, makeup-stained garments off her back like a set of borrowed diamonds after the Oscars…)
Today’s makeovers include the insertion and removal of so much material, there should be genuine concern that not only do people no longer resemble their passport photos, but no longer resemble actual people.
Slenderized clone-like pod-folk are emerging after the requisite three months of surgical, dermatological, dental, cosmetic and tonsorial changes, backed up by enforced diets and marine boot camp skinny drills, but all with the same noses, lips, boobs, waistlines and teeth. No wonder little kiddies cry when confronted with their new mommies. Tall or short, blonde or brunette is about all they have to go on to tell them apart. Is it Betty mom or Veronica mom?
Cartoon people are taking over the world!
And it would be comic if it weren’t so creepy.
In years to come, people will be able to identify the TV show make-over victims by the shape of their teeth (everything else having sagged, expanded or popped since the show)– crowns and veneers so long and white, you half expect their owners to buck and whinny as they appear for their reveal. In their desire to render ‘TA-DA!’ type teeth, the cosmetic dentists have gone overboard, creating a universally copied perfect smile that in appearance is far more reminiscent of novelty wind-up clacking dentures than anything nature might invent.
Don’t get me wrong – I think plastic/cosmetic surgery can be great. And why not haul it up, plump it full or suck it out if the reality really is so gruesome? Brighten it, ‘Zoom’ whiten it, sand it smooth, or whittle it down – but why, oh why would you want to set it off with a set of laughing tackle that wouldn’t look out of place in the Winners Circle (sported by the winner) at the Kentucky Derby?
If teeth are going to be the new fashion must-have, why can’t the dentists follow fashion and slip a little originality into their designer smiles? Make some of them a little smaller, or a little irregular, or perhaps dial back the colour just a tad; no one should have to wear sunglasses just to be in the same room as the dentally enhanced.
Teeth really are in danger of becoming the new new boobs – looking as natural as a pair of gigantic mammaries - perfect, round and pointed permanently and optimistically upward - tucked under the sagging neck of an eighty year old babe in navel-grazing Versace designer d├ęcolletage.
When Smarty Jones becomes the epitome of dental perfection, the only reality about these makeover shows is in the title.

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