I have noticed that many poor white people especially those popularly called ‘white trash’ often have really poorly defined chins. It seems to affect females more especially as they age. It certainly isn’t exclusive to that demographic but it is a marker that makes someone with that characteristic appear to be part of that group. I assume others have noticed the same thing but I can link pictures if you have no idea what I am referring to.
I assume there is some type of biology or life circumstances that lead up to it. Any idea of what that is?
In questions like this, I think the first thing to demonstrate that the phenomenon in question actually exists. Do you have any basis for the fact that this characteristic is more common in this demographic other than the stereotype of the slack-jawed yokel?
There is a story today in Yahoo News, that chin implant surgery is reported to be a fast growing procedure in the U.S.
So, these would be people who could afford to pay for this plastic surgery, or have health insurance that covers it.
“A total of 10,593 men had the operation done in 2011, a 76% increase over the prior year, and 10,087 women had the procedure, a 66 % rise-- for a combined total of 71%” according to the report.
Is it related to dental or jaw problems in people as they age?
It does exist in some forms. For those of you who can’t visualize what I am talking about, here is one as well as here and here.
I did some more reading since I posted the question. The problem starts with a weak chin to begin with but can be made worse over time through dental issues, obesity, and nutritional deficiencies that affect the jaw-line. I am still curious about more specifics however.
I would like for me to do that as well but I don’t think they exist. Not all studies have been done unfortunately. It is just something I have noticed all my life among lower paid people. I freely admit there could be some weird cause and effect relationship going on.
I did find some tidbits on the causes however so it isn’t a stretch to say it could be socioeconomically correlated. Below is just one example:
“A weak chin may be caused by poor quality foods during pregnancy, especially calcium deficiency resulting in insufficient jaw bone formation.”.
I think I know more educated and successful people with weak chins and would be more inclined to think of it as a nerdy trait, although I know there is no basis for that. There are a lot of people who are impressive in stature that I expect to be rich and handsome Mitt Romney types, but turn out to be geeky weak chinned weenies instead.
I was just watching a lecture by a PHD in atmospheric physics with a very weak chin. I had heard some audio first and he sounded very smart and witty and was probably one of those handsome 26 year old PHDs that you just love to hate. Then I saw the video and saw a balding guy in his 40s with a weak chin and glasses and my first thought was “Yep. That’s about right. This is a man I can learn from.”
Since there is apparently no evidence for the correlation you propose, I would say there is nothing that needs to be explained. “Something I have noticed” doesn’t really provide any basis for discussion.
I’d point out that many a weak chin is actually a serious overbite, which can be corrected at an early age with braces. Lack of funds in the poorer parts of the population may result in a higher degree of uncorrected overbites.
I’ve never noticed this personally, but it made me wonder WHERE the OP has seen these people? I’m guessing they havn’t traveled the USA living among the poor, so it could very well be a regional thing possibly genetic(kind of founder effect) so it might help knowing where this was noticed.
I see this a lot, but not in the demographic as stipulated in the OP. It seems pretty evenly spread across the whole spectrum of folk. It is stereotypically and caricatured in the very wealthy British population, usually as a subtle indicator of inbreeding, but I imagine that’s a myth* as well.
I do wonder what the physical causes of it are, though.
*Not the inbreeding, I think that’s an established fact
I don’t think it’s a completely unfounded stereotype. It’s known that attractive people tend to earn more. Wealthier people can afford dental work and plastic surgery. They have better diet and exercise. They tend to gravitate towards more image-conscious professional jobs.