Asian teens are reportedly buying fake braces as a status symbol. However, there have been deaths related to the phony braces.
“This orthodontia oddity has flourished in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to outlets.”
“Kids are forking over $100 for the black-market fashion braces to fool observers into thinking they can afford the authentic — and expensive — mouthworks, AFP reports.”
“Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty are among the popular designs, but whimsical themes aside, the braces can also be dangerous. As Vice.com notes, the faux braces have led to the deaths of two teens in Thailand, causing the government to crack down on vendors. Selling fashion braces now carries a punishment of up to six months in prison and a $1,300 fine, according to the report.”
“In 2009 — yes, this trend has some bite — CBS reported on the Thai government’s concern that parts could come loose and choke wearers, and that some of the braces contained lead.”
I think this totally makes sense as a status symbol. Your family would have to have money to really have braces. However, now that everyone knows about the fake ones I think school friends would assume they were fake and not real.
Are you surprised by this trend? Can you understand how this could be a status symbol? What would be comparable in American culture?