Are Overly White Teeth Out of Style?

As beauty editors, it’s our job to study and pinpoint emerging trends, both from backstage at fashion weeks, and the real world via celebrity culture. And when you pour through as many photos of models and A-listers as we do, you begin to notice certain themes. The latest of those to catch our attention is the lack of perfectly white teeth, which made us wonder: Are super-bright teeth out?

It used to be that overly white teeth were very much in—a hallmark of the cool celebs including Jessica Simpson to Hillary Duff and Britney Spears during the mid-to-late 2000s. A gleaming white smile was something everyone was perpetually after, like better skin and healthy hair. In fact, it was almost like a rite of passage for a pretty young thing in Hollywood: get a big break, upgrade your stylist, upgrade your smile—from off-white to aggressively white, overnight.

But in the last few years (and the last two especially), as both the beauty and fashion industries have placed a focus on and paved the way for mainstream acceptance of minimalism, French-girl style, no makeup makeup, and “I woke up like this” philosophies of dressing and looking (and being), it seems teeth have followed suit. These days, you’re hard-pressed to find an It girl with a too-white smile, because it almost looks uncool and passé.

And it makes sense why. Like anything that’s super-fake, dazzling white teeth are a bit cheesy when it comes down to it, like an obvious orange spray tan or crazy-big duck lips. There’s nothing natural about teeth that are as white as the box you plug into the wall to charge your iPhone. And as mentioned before, the beauty world is nothing if not obsessed with natural these days. The biggest hair trend of spring and summer 2015 is that natural, unstructured, messy bend in the hair that gets better with time and doesn’t look too “over-styled.” If we heard one thing consistently from the hairstylists we spoke to, it was that “overdone” and “over-styled” was out. It’s all about embracing your natural texture.

Meanwhile, fresh and glowing skin continues to be the skin we’re all striving for. And the biggest makeup trend of 2015 is the sheer look—sheer nails, sheer lips, sheer shadow—color that’s stripped down and pared back to its most natural-looking shade. Overly white teeth are the very definition of “overdone” and “over-styled," while your natural tooth color (barring any decay or health problems) is kind of like the sheer approach.

Furthermore, when you think about the French-girl allure that we’ve all come to appreciate and long for—a cultural obsession that’s crept into our national consciousness, from how to parent like the French to eat like the French and so on—it’s a je nais sais quo that boils down to an ease and comfort with one's natural assets. Can you imagine a French girl strolling down the street in a trench coat and ballet flats, with perfectly undone bedhead, and then flashing a smile that looks like a Crest commercial? The true beauty of French women, or any person for that matter, is in the imperfect, the off-white—not the “overdone,” “over-styled,” or unnatural.

And so as we pour through backstage photos these days, we rarely see a model with bright white teeth. Instead, we see the off-white, the eggshell, even, to be honest, the borderline yellow. Beyond backstage, looking to the latest top celebs and supermodels, everyone from Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner to Kristen Stewart and Beyoncé have teeth far from being blindingly white. They all have a pretty, natural color that doesn't look like printer paper or the distinct white of a high-tech Apple device. In the interest of embracing natural vibes, teeth probably shouldn't look like office equipment or technology, just like skin shouldn't look like an orange and lips shouldn't look like a platypus. 

We think it’s safe to say that white-white teeth are out of style, but we want to know your take on it. Take our poll below on super white teeth: Are they in or out? Let us know what you think! And click here to shop the toothbrush we are obsessed with at the Byrdie offices! 


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