Toothpasting

Toothpasting

Updated Dec 14, 2012 at 12:55PM EST by Brad.

Added May 08, 2012 at 03:43PM EDT by amanda b..

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About

Toothpasting (sometimes seen as Pasting) refers to the act of putting toothpaste on one’s nipples in order to get high. The term was coined in a 4chan thread that urged its readers to make it spread to major news sites.

Origin

On May 5th, 2012, a user on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board posted a thread[7] urging board members to send reports of a “new drug craze” to respectable news websites involving teenagers rubbing toothpaste on their nipples to induce a full-body high. In the thread, users posted screenshots of messages left on anonymous chat site Omegle as well as messages that were apparently sent to local Fox affiliate news stations. Many users linked to a PubMed abstract[15] stating that titanium dioxide nanoparticles, which can be found in toothpastes, may have harmed spatial recognition memory in the mice they tested.



However, similar practices have been observed prior to the coinage of the term “toothpasting.” On March 11th, 2010, a user on the Body Building Forums[4] started a thread titled “Ask a guy who just put toothpaste on his nipples anything,” but the thread did not recieve any responses until May 26th, 2011. The original poster stated that he did it to combat “gyno,”[5] short for Gynecomastia[6], or the abnormal growth of breast tissue in males. This reasoning appeared a second time on the board[14] on April 6th, 2012.

Putting toothpaste on one’s nipples saw a resurgence on question and answer sites, appearing on Yahoo! Answers in March 2011[3] and July 2011[1], and Blurt It![2] also in July. In the latter two posts, users asserted that it was a method to encourage breast tissue growth.

Spread

Over the next two days, several more threads[8][9] appeared on 4chan, escalating the act of notifying local news stations to Operation: Toothpasting. The Facebook group Protect Our Children from Household Drugs[10] was created on May 5th, garnering 1421 likes in three days. On the 6th, a Change.org petition[11] to stop Toothpasting was created, getting 575 signatures in two days. The same day, a rage comic about Toothpasting was posted to FunnyJunk[16], receiving 1161 upvotes and nearly 90,000 views in two days.



Additionally, a handful of Yahoo! Answers[12][13] questions appeared. On May 7th, the first question about Toothpasting was posted to Reddit[17] and a thread on sports form MMO Champion[19] was started, discussing whether or not the act was real. The following day, a Redditor claimed[18] that a radio station in Washington DC reported that parents should monitor the amount of toothpaste being used in their homes. The post received 1150 points within 9 hours.

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