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FHP, and The Easiest Recognizable Social Divide

Last July on LV, Flophousepoodle posted a video called Failure Smorgasbord. Someone left her the following comment: “U need a dental job.”

At the time I cringed when I read that comment, being as I feel great affection for FHP, and I wondered how she would react when she read it. How do you react to a comment that’s intended to hurt? She gave one of the best comebacks I’ve ever read because it was full of humor and grace and humility while underscoring the meanness of the commenter:

“I guess I should thank you for stopping there. I need many things.”

The next day Flophouse wrote a blog about teeth in which she wrote that teeth are “the easiest recognizable social divide.”

I realized this truth about teeth some time ago and ever since, I have felt like something of a poser—because I have naturally perfect teeth. You can disguise your social class with education, attire, and accent, but you cannot disguise the appearance that comes only from being born to parents who can afford thousands of dollars worth of orthodonture for you.

I come from a long line of sharecroppers and factory workers. I am the only member of my family who graduated from high school and then achieved the pipe dream of college. When I was a kid, the adults in my family could not watch TV without commenting on the teeth of TV and movie stars, an obsession I didn’t understand then. I never got to visit a dentist until I was eleven years old, and then it was to have two cavities filled. The only cavities I ever had and probably ever will have, it seems.

My next dental visit came when I was 21 and I got a job with dental coverage. This is when I learned that I have perfect teeth. The dentist asked how long I’d had braces. I told him I never had them, and about my one previous dental appointment. “Amazing!” he said. Then he called in his assistants to look at my mouth as he measured every tooth in my head and the distance between them. “Every tooth is perfectly shaped, and you have an alignment of upper and lower bite and a straightness in your teeth that is more perfect than anything I’ve seen in a textbook!” he told me. Gosh. It made me feel kinda special to be a medical oddity, one who wasn’t deformed.

There are a lot of benefits to having good teeth, an absence of pain being a wonderful one. But being able to attend functions with people of higher social strata than myself, undetected as the working-class poser that I am, has no doubt enabled me to progress in my academic work environment. I never underestimate the social value of this freebie nature has given me.

Still… there is an old putdown joke that goes “when God was handing out good looks, you musta been standing at the back of the line!” In comments made on FHP’s videos, and in comments others have made to me about her, I have heard her compared in beauty at various times to Emma Thompson, Jodie Foster, Toni Collette, and Diana Rigg. On that imaginary day of the beauty handouts, I imagine Flophouse far in line ahead of me. In fact, when I finally get to meet God, he says, “Jeez, I’m just plumb all out of almost everything. All out of ice-blue eyes, high cheekbones, Roman noses, porcelain skin, full lips. But I’ve got a set of perfect teeth here…”

I sigh. “Okay. If that’s all ya got, I’ll take ‘em.”

Views: 29

Comment by flophousepoodle on January 25, 2009 at 5:47pm
This is touching.
Excellent vlog.
Class is on my mind a lot. I had a client once who asked me to paint her daughter's mouth closed instead of smiling because they were going to fix her teeth (which were fine) long story I will blog or vlog someday.
Superfically - my teeth have played a part in not vlogging - small part.
I remember the fun part about that vid comment was watching the other users reply to the guy. Surf said " Don't fuck with me I LIVED IN A CONVENT" and Annelida said "Sir, with all due respect - go back to youtube" LOL etc. It was like death by piranha.
The LV community can't be beat - the site can but the community can't.
Comment by flophousepoodle on January 25, 2009 at 5:51pm
Oh yes - and now about you - lol. You have nice teeth - a glorious mane - great voice and probably many other nice physical attributes ( we all know your personality is awesome) that I could comment on if you would VLOG MORE!!!!
Comment by NatureJunkie on January 25, 2009 at 5:55pm
@ Silly: Yup, FHP's a looker alright, even among Jupiterians.

@FHP: Thank you for your compliments. I would gladly vlog more if I had any good ideas other than my sarcasm font.
Comment by Pypermarru1 on January 25, 2009 at 6:36pm
People are so friggn nuts. FHP is I have said before, FHP is the cool kid back in school when no one knew she was cool. (if that makes sense) I know what I mean....;0)
I wish I had her talent, creativity, fearlessness, vacuum cleaner, and ass. Yeah, I said it! I like FHP's ass.
sorry FH no offense I really do respect you for your mind....
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on January 25, 2009 at 11:05pm
Wow. I just see beauty all over this blog and these comments.

Great blog, NJ


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