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This "Toothy Face" Could Be Women's Secret Weapon Against Harassment

Débora Adorno told women to harness the power of their teeth – and they did.

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This is Débora Adorno from Belo Horizonte in Brazil.

Last Friday, she vented on Facebook about the increasing harassment she was experiencing when walking around her home city.

She said she had been walking through a particularly crowded street when "things got out of hand". The street was "crowded, jammed, and I had to slow down and hear all those things, receiving these awful pervert stares from those guys". She said she felt "powerless" and "trapped".

Adorno felt that screaming back at the men or calling them names wouldn't help.

"There was nothing I could do because there was no way to stop them," she wrote. "I wasn't going to yell at all those men and I wasn't going to call them names out of fear of being assaulted, threatened, abused, a hundred different things... I simply couldn't."

Instead, she decided to respond with her "trademark"...

Behold: her toothy face!

"So this guy was walking towards me with a grotesque stare, really preying on me, and before I could say anything I just did my toothy face," she wrote. "He felt awkward and walked right by."

Adorno claimed her toothy face completely changed the situation: "You have no idea! The harassment stopped in a heartbeat and NO OTHER GUY DISTURBED ME! At this point I felt rainbows inside, suddenly I wasn't the one feeling awkward anymore and I wasn't the one looking away anymore and I wasn't the fast-paced one anymore."

She ended her post with two tips:

One for the men: “Just STOP. Harassment is not a compliment, it's an aggression.”

And one for the ladies: “Embrace the toothy power!”

And here's the amazing thing...


Yup. The "toothy face" is now a Brazilian meme.

@mandidih Vc disse que ia postar essa foto mas ficou com vergonha aí pra te ajudar posto pra vc😂 #CaretaDoDentinho


@naosalvo sou praticante da #caretadodentinho desde 1995.

@naosalvo eu já tô! #caretadodentinho

So if you've seen any Brazilian women on the internet doing this, now you know why.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alan White at

Alexandre Orrico é redator do BuzzFeed, em São Paulo.

Contact Alexandre Orrico at

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