Posted by: martinworster | November 13, 2007

80. CALIFORNIA SMILE

When in Rome…trying to smile baring your teeth whilst not looking cheesey or sarcastic is impossible

I’ve been trying to perfect it but it’s proving difficult. I call it the California smile – that all white, sparkly gnasher bearing grin you see whenever a Californian is photographed. Whenever I try and smile whilst bearing my teeth it looks false, cheesey, silly, as if I’m taking the mickey, which I am. Go on, try and practice it in the mirror, it’s really difficult.

It probably helps to have perfect teeth. My nicotine stained, chipped Hampstead Heaths look like they’ve been transplanted from Albert Steptoe. Out here, perfectly aligned, snow white teeth are de rigeur, made extra healthy looking when offset by the brown glow of a perma tan. Teeth bleaching is common. People also use funny strips you can buy from the chemist that somehow make your teeth whiter.

That’s the tireing thing when observing life in Orange County, the constant quest for perfection – in everything. Perfect appearance. Perfectly mowed lawn. Glimmering BMW without so much as a blemish on the paint work. Perfect children who achieve perfect results at school and everything else they do. Perfect sex. Perfect lives.

Or not, judging from the monstrosity I spied in the grocery store the other day. She’d had so much plastic surgery it looked like she’d ran at high speed into a big sheet of cling film which had stuck on her face, giving it that artifcial smooth, pushed back look. She had XL lips, collagen enchanced cheeks and a forehead pumped full of botox. It was hard to age her. 45? 70? Who knows. She cut a rather sad figure, big Nicole Richie sunglasses perched on her sculpted nose as she tottered around the genetically engineered vegetable section.

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