Nope, I’ll Never Get My Ears Pierced

When it comes to accessories, I generally live by the more-is-more philosophy — except when it comes to one particular area. I’ve never had my ears pierced, and frankly, I don’t think I ever want to. Weird, right? You’re probably wondering, how do you go 32 years forward into womanhood, become a style editor and not have a close personal encounter with the piercer’s needle? Like many, I was asked by my mom as a little girl if I wanted to get pierced at the local K-Mart, and at eight or nine — whatever age I was at the time — it just didn’t seem like a good idea. Even then, I was too neurotic to believe that having a stranger poke holes in my ears would be a very smart. No thank you, I will do without.
It’s not that I don’t like earrings. I love earrings. I buy earrings all the time — for other people. My friend Marlee has been the recipient of dozens of pairs of earrings that I’ve purchased on her behalf. In fact, this past weekend, when I, again, contemplated getting my ears pierced, it was Marlee that I asked to take me. “Are you sure you want to do this, Jul?” she asked. Well, since you’re asking…

Over the years, I suppose I could have ambled over to a Claire’s Boutique and had a mall tech do the deed, but I got used to my face without earrings. I have a very strong jawline and I figured earrings might just muck my look up. Plus, I was a teen in the era of gross ear plugs and I suppose maybe I worried that earrings would be like some gateway drug to terrible stretched out lobes. First it would be one innocent hole, then three piercings, then an ear cuff and before long, you’ve got a one way ticket to Lollapalooza and droopy six-gauge ear plugs. But it’s more than that — I almost feel that it’s a small but important way for me to keep my individuality. In a sea of pierced ears, eyebrows and tongues, I don’t have a single punched hole in my body.

And I almost think that considering the proliferation of body piercings and tattoos, multiple earrings and bad body art, it’s almost more irreverent not to have a piercing of tattoo. Somehow, even getting my ears pierced seems like I’m somehow conforming to traditional expectations of female beauty. Who I am is not a girl who has her ears pierced. That’s just how it is. So for now, I’ll continue to buy earrings — for my friends.

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