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Faith Hill braces and Helen Mirren pink hair: Parsing the fairy tale of beauty

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I can’t blame Hill for joining the ranks of other celebs who chose adult dental correction, a group that includes but is not limited to: Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage (who wore braces on his lower teeth at 39) and even Danny Glover who got braces two months shy of his 60th birthday. Vanity thy name is human, not woman. Don’t think for a moment boys aren’t paying attention to the fact that the prince is handsome, vain, buff, and the light sparkles off his teeth, while the alternative is the scrawny, uncoordinated stable boy who never gets the girl.

Who can blame anyone for wanting the winning role, particularly those whose lives are all about role-playing?

I had braces as a child. My mother, Parsons School of Design graduate and former Macy’s private label designer knew that beauty is highly prized and she wanted me to be a prize-winner. It didn’t work of course because no amount of bracing could overcome the genetics of Eastern Europe with Poland and Germany in the mix and living with a Grandma and Great Grandmother in the house who could cook a mean perogi and kielbasa dinner.

I often look back and wonder what straightening my teeth really did for me as a person. The answer is, not much. However, they made my mom feel like she was being a good mom because society told her good mothers give their child every advantage; and for girls in the late 1960s that meant straight teeth.

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