Mullets, low-rise jeans and baby tees - just some of the classic Y2K trends experiencing a resurgence, not in small part due to the cultural influence behemoth that is TikTok. The most recent craze dug from the 2000s archives? Tooth gems.
You remember tooth gems, right? They’re right up there with cropped cardigans and Von Dutch hats in our collective, dubiously cheugy memories. The early 00s, after all were a time epitomised by the power of bling, from chunky diamanté belly bars, embellished jeans spelling out ‘babe’ across the buttocks and rhinestones in the shape of a heart set into rimless coloured sunglasses. Why then, would our humble teeth be any different?
Like many blink and you’ll miss it fashion trends of the 00s — bubble skirts, tiny waistcoats and ponchos, to name but a few — tooth gems had their moment in the mainstream consciousness, then seemed to vanish. In more recent years though, they have been crawling back into the fringes of pop culture: Katy Perry has been spotted with a Nike swoosh on the red carpet, in 2017 Hailey Bieber chose to have not one, but two gems applied to her teeth, “because why not” and model Adwoa Aboah chose a classic Chanel logo, which appeared on the cover of i-D magazine in 2016.
Five years on though, TikTok has well and truly resurrected the 00s aesthetic for the mainstream. Recent research from PolicyBee analysed nostalgic beauty trends on TikTok and found that alongside scrunchies (946.2m views), temporary tattoos (544m views) and blue eyeshadow (58.2m views), ooth gems came out as one of the frontrunners for a 2021 resurgence. Views for the hashtag #toothgems currently stand at over 54.7m, which is rapidly rising, with a growth of over 12% between May and June 2021 alone, and hundreds of users showing off their professional and DIY efforts.