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Why are teens ‘mewing’ and what is the trend all about?

It has nothing to do with cats.
/ Source: TODAY

Mewing is the freshest teen trend driving parents up the wall.

Not only a slang word, mewing is a move. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), mewing claims to be a "do-it-yourself facial restructuring method" in which a person presses their tongue to the roof of the mouth to make their jawline look tighter and slimmer.

Mewing isn’t universally acknowledged in the world of dentistry.

"Unfortunately, scientific evidence supporting mewing’s jawline-sculpting claims is as thin as dental floss," notes the AAO. "A complex interplay of genetics, bone growth, and muscle development influences facial structure. Simply changing tongue placement isn’t enough to magically correct misaligned teeth, reshape your jawline, and prevent the need for orthodontic treatment."

Unfortunately, scientific evidence supporting mewing’s jawline-sculpting claims is as thin as dental floss."

American Association of Orthodontists

Teens added two steps to mewing: placing a finger over the lips in a "Shhh" motion, then tracing one side of the jaw from top to bottom.

Philip Lindsay, a special education math teacher in Payson, Arizona, whose TikTok account deciphers teen slang, says mewing is big at school.

"When somebody comes up and asks you a question — particularly if it's the teacher or a parent — and you don't want to answer the question, you hit them with the (mewing) ..." Lindsay said in a video. "Which simply means, 'I can't answer your question right now. I'm mewing. I'm working on my jawline.'"

Lindsay says kids find "a particular joy" in mewing when they don't want to answer a question at home or in school.

"I haven't run into one kid who has used mewing seriously ... (although) some teachers talk about how disrespectful it is," Lindsay tells "That's one opinion — and mewing has that tone — but it's more of a 'Let's see if we can get a laugh out of this' (move)."

Students don't actually believe that mewing will excuse them from answering questions, he says.

Lindsay tells that mewing is one way to "looksmax."

Urban Dictionary states that looksmaxxing is the "physical improvement of a person’s body — in terms of development of facial features or muscular improvement — in order to make oneself more attractive or easier to like."

Looksmaxxing is a teen boy trend, reports the New York Times, bisected into "softmaxxing" (light beauty improvements like mewing) and "hardmaxxing" (cosmetic surgery).

As an educator, Lindsay tolerates mewing and other slang — unless it’s condescending, misogynistic or disruptive.

"I have a relationship-first approach in the classroom, but there are rules, expectations and procedures," he tells "If a kid is mewing and trying to be funny, (I'll say), 'You can mew on your own time ... (please) answer the question."

"The less I take these (trends) seriously," he adds, "the less fuel they have."