Today, let's expand that to old Japan and a crazy fashion that started there. Not only the women, but to even some men. This one is beyond understanding, I'm afraid!
Blackening Your Teeth
Photo credit: peterbrown-palaeoanthropology.net
Until recently, women in Japan took dentistry in a different direction. They agreed that tooth decay was one of the best looks out there. So if a woman’s teeth weren’t falling out on their own, she’d paint them black.
Japanese women have been blackening their teeth for so long that we aren’t sure when or why they started doing it. At the very least, by about AD 900, women were painting their teeth black. Shortly after, men started doing it, too.
The Japanese mixed hot water, sake, and red-hot iron in a pot and let it sit for five days. A black scum would rise to the top, which they would scrape off and rub on their teeth.
Eventually, the look went out of fashion. In 1870, it was banned outright, but that was nearly 1,000 years after it started. Japanese people spent the better part of a millennium trying to look good by imitating tooth decay.
It seems to me that the only folks really behind this movement had to be the dentist and I can't even imagine them being in favor.
Coffee out on the patio this morning!