Feature

Remember when variety was the spice of life?

The week's news at a glance.

Belgium

Frédçric Jannin
La Libre Belgique

What if I don’t make my son wear braces? asked Frédçric Jannin in La Libre Belgique. My son has a crooked tooth. It isn’t freakish, merely “somewhat askew.” Yet in our conformist society, to allow him to go through life that way would be considered tantamount to child abuse. Everyone is supposed to sport “the same perfect smile, each tooth aligned exactly parallel.” This imposed homogeneity is not confined to teeth. We’re approaching a time when “every woman will have enough silicone in her bosom to fill out a D cup,” as well as enough collagen in her lips to plump them properly pouty. Variety is rapidly being extinguished, and not only in how everyone looks. My son’s teachers have warned me that while he is quite intelligent, he is not diligent enough. Alarmed, they have referred us to “some Center for Psycho-Medico-Socio-Something” that can teach him how to act like everyone else. How sad that our default assumption is that “anything that bends a different way has to be straightened out.”

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