“The Ancient History of Grills”

“Actually, grills have been appearing, disappearing, and reappearing throughout human history in fits and spurts as civilizations have risen and fallen around the world. Tracing their story reveals threads of ancient misogyny, class warfare, and lost scientific studies and artifacts…
Rich Etruscan women were the first group of people to wear what we would now call grills. “Certain high-status Etruscan women deliberately had [front teeth] removed in order to be fitted with a gold band appliance holding a replacement, or reused, tooth,” Becker writes…
Etruscan women had more civil rights than the later Greek and Roman women — they could own property and would go to public banquets with their husbands — and their gold teeth further displayed this relative equality. “These women were showing that they had people cooking prepared foods and soft white bread for them,” says Turfa…
As Nelly announced his “platinum and white rose, traditional gold / I’m changing grills every day like Jay changes clothes,” grills slipped into American consciousness. Now, famous actors wear them on the red carpet, Olympians wear them during award ceremonies, and rich high school girls wear them to prom.”

Super fascinating, but Aaagh my teeth hurt reading some of these. So grateful for modern dentistry.

They didn’t address the race aspect the way I wished the had — if anyone has a good article on the relationship between grills and race in American culture, that would be super fun to read.

Definitely watch the little interview with Kanye West at the end.

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