Asian Teenagers Are Wearing Trendy Fake Braces

Asia is kind of notorious for its long-standing monopoly on bizarre “trends,” from bagel heads and tentacle porn to ANIMATRONIC CAT EAR HEADBANDS THAT MOVE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. Sorry, I am a little stoked on that one (see also: cat cafes). So, as mind-bendingly strange as many of them are (so, so, so strange), I can’t say I’m ever shocked to hear that something new and batshit crazy is going on in Asia. And yet! Young people (I’m 80 years old) in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are getting into fashion braces. Like, for your teeth. Listen, it physically pains me to admit this, but I, too, wanted braces as a child. What the fuck, former self? I thought they were cool! Metal in your mouth! What isn’t cool about that?

The meager difference is that, while the braces I once had (RIP) were several thousand dollars and safe (presumably), these fake braces are $100 and troublingly dangerous, leading to health issues like infection, choking, and lead poisoning. Lead poisoning. Thai government has wisely banned the production and sale of fake braces, but that’s only made these crazy kids turn to black market sources to score their orthodontic fix. Can’t you guys just do drugs or something, like normal teenagers? Jeez. [Refinery29]