Teens are sewing their mouths shut in the latest fashion craze.
Collected via Facebook, October 2015
Yet another entry among the collection warnings to parents about the shocking and scary things their teenagers are supposedly doing to themselves is the one reproduced above, showing that youngsters are supposedly undergoing an extreme form of body modification in which they have their mouths stitched shut.
In fact, what’s pictured here is nothing of the kind. This image, run under such misleading, clickbaiting headlines as “This is the Latest SCARY Internet Trend Teens are Flocking to Try,” is actually taken from a 2013 tutorial (“Stitched Mouth Tutorial”) by Nepalese-born makeup artist Pratigya Tamang, known on YouTube as Promise Phan. In the spirit of Halloween, the makeup artist cut black string into pieces of varying lengths and glued the ends of each piece above and below her lips (and added some coloring to imitate the effects of bruising) to create the appearance of a mouth sewn closed:
As Promise Phan showed at the end of the tutorial, simply opening her mouth was sufficient to break the sutures supposedly holding it closed.