You bring the edges of your top and bottom teeth together and lift your lips away from your gums. You must fully commit to the pose. It’s the only way to show off a bejeweled mouthpiece: “grillz,” “mouth bling,” “golds,” “bouche bijoux.” Whatever you call them, they’re symbols of bold, unapologetic style. Black women in music, since the blues age of Koko Taylor, have been wearing gold teeth to flaunt their wealth and chart their ascendance to the pinnacle of fame, earning queen, or even king, status. And now, in the age of social media, grillz are both a reclamation of power and a fashion statement.
For example Beyoncé chose to partner with French grillz designer-to-the-stars Dolly Cohen, who has made pieces for Balmain, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Hood By Air, to create a gold grill for her 2020 Ivy Park x Adidas campaign.
And many others: