It's Not Just Mewing. People Are Smashing Their Bones Now, Too

What will men think of next?
A photo of a man with bandage round his hed pretending to hit himself playfully with a hammer. Taken from VICE tiktok screenshot.
Image: Screenshot from VICE TikTok

Can hitting yourself in the face with a hammer make you drop dead gorgey? What about resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth?

DIY beauty trends for men are sweeping the internet right now, with people looking for quick fixes to their, um, literal biology.

Mewing is an oral posture technique where you keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth in an attempt to emphasize your cheekbones and make your jaw look square.


Bone smashing is far more dangerous: The idea is to promote bone growth by exposing the face to repeated blunt trauma. People cite Wolff’s Law, a 19th-century medical theory that says bones adapt to the stress they’re subjected to, as reasoning.

Both are part of a phenomenon called looksmaxing, where young men online critique each other’s looks and suggest DIY fixes. And as with a lot of “incel” discourse, it’s hard to tell who’s trolling and who’s being serious. But whether it’s a sick internet joke or genuine attempt to become better looking, does it actually work?

“It’s understandable why people would want to have a chiseled jawline or wider chin, but here’s no evidence whatsoever something like bone smashing is going to do much for it,” Dr. Sanjay Trikha tells VICE, noting that the risks for this type of treatment can be high.

“In terms of people using Wolff’s Law as justification, there’s no evidence for that whatsoever,” he continues. “When you traumatise an area, you can get local inflammation, and that may seem like it’s bigger, but it’s going to go down. It won’t come back harder and stronger, and it can actually cause permanent damage.”

As for mewing, no credible research proves mewing can permanently alter your jaw structure. John Mew, the orthodontist who created this method in the 70s, even had his dental license stripped for his unconventional practices and the whole method was initially created for young children.

So basically, what we’re saying is: Don’t bother forcing your tongue in a place it doesn’t want to go. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t hit yourself in the face with a hammer – try loving yourself. Failing that, contact a professional.