Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ear Gauging: A Great Way to Ruin Your Future Career

My brother's stepdaughter, G, who is eighteen, has decided to gauge her ears.  Last night on Facebook she announced that she was doing so, and there were a flurry of "Awesome!" type comments from her friends.  This sounds like a great way to get an infection to me.  I mean, if you are going to do it, at least go to a professional.

Did I miss the memo where this is the new "cool" thing to do?  Are kids tired of tattoos already?  Maybe I'm just getting old and fogey, but the whole ear gauging thing to me is (1) extremely ugly; and (2) extremely gross.  Whenever I see people who have done this, who are parading around with gigantic holes in their ears, I usually find it hard not to stare.  First I think "Ouch!" then I think "Why?"  Is there some advantage of which I am unaware that makes it a good thing to be able to see through your earlobes?  Obviously I'm a very conservative person, but it was surprising to me that all of G's friends were so gung ho about it.  Am I that out of it?    

I also can't help but think that she is severely limiting herself as far as future career prospects.  I don't know how large of a gauge she is ultimately going to go with (edit:  she told me 6 or 8, which is still pretty big, in my opinion), but this seems like the kind of thing where you could easily get addicted to going bigger.  Maybe she's going for the minimal size, which isn't that atrocious, but it's still not something you would expect to see from a professional.  At least not yet.  Who knows, maybe someday everyone will have ear gaugings and it won't seem like such an outlier thing to do.  At least I've never seen a teacher, cop, doctor, lawyer, accountant, salesperson at a nice store or car dealership, or most other "mainstream" jobs with this done.  Tattoos at least you can hide.  An ear gauge?  Not so much, unless you really pull your hair over it.  Also, this eliminates the ability to wear normal earrings, doesn't it?  That seems like a big downside to me.   

G wants to be a writer.  I suppose if she is able to succeed at that, it doesn't matter if she has her ears gauged.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of competition out there for writers, and if she wants to put food on her table she may also have to get a more mainstream job.  She's mentioned teaching English.  I'm not sure how she plans to accomplish that with ear gauges.  From what I've read, sometimes you can close them up, but it's a process, and it doesn't always work.  Why even take that risk?  It's one thing to have fun and do goofy things when you are young, it's another thing to do something to your body that you might really regret ten years down the line when you are sitting in a job interview.  We live in a society where you are judged by how you look.  Why put yourself at such a disadvantage out of the gate?  Is it all just to make a statement about how edgy you are?  Maybe the argument is that if you want ear gauges, you don't want a mainstream job.  But there can only be so many edge jobs out there at edgy bookstores and coffee shops, right?  I really just don't get it.  

55 comments:

  1. Well, considering we still don't see a lot of doctors & lawyers & teachers with visible tattoos, I would say that they aren't socially acceptable in those positions yet. And tattoos have been around a LOT longer than ear gauging and are hardly taboo anymore, so I'm with you that it definitely limits future potential.

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    1. So, where do you get your information? The iceman (the oldest, best preserved mummy found to date, if I'm not mistaken) had both tattoos, and stretched ears between the sizes of 9mm (00g) and 13mm (1/2). That being said, how do you figure that tattoos have been around "a lot longer than tattoos?"

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    2. True, gauging is new to America and it's pop culture. But tribes and whatnot have been doing it for quite some time. I gauge because I like the style AND I like the history behind it; the tribes would use each size as a different life achievement, so the chief, having the most accomplishments in life, would have the biggest gauges in the tribe.

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  2. I occasionally see female attorneys with small tattoos on their ankles or wrists, but nothing huge. But for the most part tattoos can be covered in those professions, unless you are dumb enough to get one on your hands or face. Quite a few of my attorney friends have tattoos on their hips, shoulder blades, and other areas that are generally hidden when dressed in work attire. My sister's friend is a nurse and she is covered with tattoos, but you wouldn't know it when she is in her scrubs. But, I agree with you that tattoos aren't completely acceptable yet, although I think they are a lot more acceptable than ear gauging.

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  3. The ear gauging thing is ridiculous. A know a lot of people who have done it to the extreme and a few had to get corrective surgery when they needed a real job. Of course, that's a cosmetic procedure and you have to pay out your own pocket.

    What's even more gross? Kids are now gauging their noses. They use hollow plugs and you can see the inside of their nose! It's disgusting and unsanitary!

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  4. Noses???? Oh no. I haven't seen this yet, but since I moved out of Lakeview I don't see as much of the alternative set. That is really gross! (Or maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon now!)

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  5. NWL, I can see from your post that you have a few misunderstandings towards the subject of body modification. I will address them in order:

    First of all, gauging is not the correct term for what you are talking about. The verb gauge means to measure, and the noun gauge is a unit of measurement. Cables and other cylindrical shapes are measured in gauges, while the lowest the number the thicker it is. The correct term is "stretching", plain and simple. Now stretching is a gradual process, it's not something you "go to a professional" for. It just involves putting thicker jewelry in a piercing every so often. The recommended procedure is to put one size larger in every month. This makes the whole experience completely pain and complication-free.

    Ear stretching is not something new. It has been done for as long as societies have existed and for many reasons, be it spiritual, religious or aesthetic. Thing is that you are noticing how "kids" are now starting to do it more openly and often. What you are seeing is body modification becoming mainstream.

    As far as a career goes, well to begin with, an 8 gauge is very small and you can hardly tell her piercings are bigger than the usual on a girl. Plus, I personally believe that piercings will become more and more accepted in society by the time she grows up, or she will grow out of piercings. Some people quickly do, others never do.

    But if she is doing this for the right reasons and not just because it "looks cool" then she wouldn't need to hide them under hair, she'd be proud to display them to the world. That's why she's getting them anyway right? Anyway, these are just personal opinions.

    It's not about making a statement of how edgy you are, there is no universal reason for getting a piercing, tattoo or stretching your ear lobe piercings.

    Personally, I do what I do as a statement that the Body Modification community are cultured and educated people who are, more often than not, looked down upon in society.

    People who meet me are surprised to know about all my body piercings (my face had none until recently) later on, and people who first see my piercings are surprised when they actually meet me.

    This is the reaction I want. I want to help create, even if just with a teeny tiny contribution, the conscience that we're not ignorant airheads who don't think about our futures, but rather a bunch of people who are passionate about body art. Because it is in fact an art form.



    It is nice reading what other people think about body modifications, because it helps me understand the way people usually see us, and how to better help you understand.

    I recommend you read up on some articles at BMEZine.com. It's a very good resource for bodymodding and the sort.

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    1. I agree with you 100%, I have had mine since 8th grade and I am now 23. I did it for me and myself only. Judging someone because of body mods is discrimination. Of course there will be those people who frown upon it that's their problem, but it should not stop someone if its really in their heart to do so. I like how you did say people shouldn't do it to "look cool". For me it is more than just stretched ears or body mods, It's a Culture. An If someone has "corrective surgery" they obviously did not do it for passion. Great Response to the above comments by the way.

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    2. "Plus, I personally believe that piercings will become more and more accepted in society by the time she grows up"
      That's a terrible assumption. You're only defending her because you're obviously sensitive about your own stupid mistake. Ultimately it's going to come to you in your old age with huge saggy ear lobes getting plastic surgery.

      I have been in the professional world long enough to tell you that gauging your ears is career suicide. Might as well get a penis tattooed on your face.

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    3. Just as your assumption is. It is quite rude to descriminate others based on their descisions about their body.
      Everybody has their own opinions about body modification, which is understandable its a controvesial subject. However you should not become so agitated by someone stating their opinion/clearing up some grey areas. They were just trying to educate people on this body modification. Though I respect your right to have an opinion I do not respect that you shove it down peoples throats. By the by, you can stretch up to a 00g take them out and your ears will go back to a (near) normal size. Thanks for the intolerance though.

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    4. Just putting my two cents in! I have been in social work for almost 10 years... I run a very well-known, successful group home and interact with the public on a daily basis - including social workers, court officials, you name it. I have many visible tattoos (including one full sleeve and one half sleeve) and my ears are currently 1/2 inch. I am very good at what I do, educated, and have never ever run into any problems with how I look or how others perceive me while at work. It isn't impossible to be professional AND pierced or tattooed. When you're smart and driven in your career, how you look isn't going to stop you from being on top of our game.

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  6. Daniel,

    Thanks for providing the correct term. I don't know much about it (obviously) and the term she used was "gauging," so that's what I used. I always like to be enlightened. I think she's doing it just to be cool or different, frankly, not because she's into body modification for other reasons. I don't care for that jumping on the bandwagon kind of thing. You obviously have deeper reasons for doing it, and I can appreciate that, and I can certainly appreciate it as an art form, provided you are able to make a living while having that sort of art on your body.

    However, I will say that if an attorney showed up in court or a deposition with a large sized gauge in their ear, they would be stared at and probably talked about. In certain professions, that kind of thing would not be looked kindly upon. In other professions, it might be fine. I'm just concerned that she is so young that she might be limiting herself. I'm also concerned that she isn't doing it for the right reasons. I saw a photo of her recently, and it appears she hasn't gone through with it, so apparently it was a passing fad with her.

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  7. This post caught my ear :D

    IMHO, body art and modification (including stretching) is an acquired taste. Your brother's stepdaughter is probably at an age where she feels like it's the "cool" thing to do. I didn't feel that way at 18, but I'm just a couple of years older now. As someone who's stretching too (working my way up to a 6g, possibly 4g), it's just something that's piqued my interest in the last couple of years... I didn't really have an explanation for why took interest in it. I just know I thought about it last year, still had it on my mind, and went through with it.

    Fortunately, I'm still able to function at work and lead a rather conservative life. Though I'm a girl that drives a sport bike to work every day, has a noticeable tattoo on the inner wrist, and wears strange earrings, I have a regular 9A-5P and go to mass on Sundays (I just finished my confirmation/catechism class). However, I also wear scrubs and prescription glasses, so despite the "edgy" look, I still have somehow retained the geekier aspect of my life. When people ask about the tattoo, or the bike, or the stretching, I enjoy it... I came up with the reason that I just can... at the minimum, they're conversation starters. Sure, all of this is 'anti-conformity' in this age, but it's liberating to have the best of both worlds. As far as how this interferes/melds with my profession, I'm a medical lab technician... my biggest concern is just making sure I don't try to brush my hair behind my ears with gloves that have just touched blood/serum that potentially could be HIV positive. My supervisor is also the lab director. I don't think she particularly cares, as long as the work gets done, doesn't pose a threat (physical or social) to any of my coworkers, and is not ridiculously jarring or disruptive of the workflow. Before I got this job, I went on several interviews and was offered different positions (despite the ears). More so than tiny body mods, employers are concerned with the personality/attitude.

    In short, here is a suggestion for your step-niece: try getting fake/faux/cheater plugs... they sell 16g on eBay, which is a size up from the standard 20-18g. That way she can access the look of a 00g, and try to imagine a hole in the place of where the fake plugs are before even trying to go 'so large.'

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  8. I'm a young guy in my 20s and stumbled on this article. I think ear gauges are unattractive and gross. The ear continues to grow throughout all of your life, as your nose does also. I can't imagine what it will look like at 50 or 60... These people will probably be embarrassed when the fad is gone and others wonder why their ears are that way. Also I really do believe tattoos, most piercings, and body alterations (like breast implants) are all for attention seekers. It's just a way to get people to notice you (especially if you aren't all that attractive to begin with or suffer from a low self worth/esteem.) To me truly being creative is accepting and being comfortable in your OWN skin, with what God gave you. Why not just be happy with what you were born with? I've noticed that people who really love themselves are the most loving people to be around because they don't focus on themself, they focus on others and their needs come 2nd.

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    1. If people were just accepting of what God gave us you wouldn't even be talking on this forum because the internet would not exist. Creativity brings about innovation and change. Go live in the forest if you're happy with the way your god made things.

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    2. I can't think of any reason it is gross. As long as the participant does the procedure correctly and does not end up with a blowout (the skin inside the ear turning inside out and pushing out the front or back) it is generally hygienic and safe. If you didn't brush your teeth, they would be disgusting and your mouth would smell nasty as well. Same goes for ear stretching. As long as you take good care of them (doing regular salt soaks and washing with antibacterial soap) it is as healthy as can be. It is not a fad. It is a human tradition that has been practiced as long as humans have even walked the face of this planet. We do not seek attention for it, more so the opposite. We do it to ourselves because it's what makes us happy and what makes one oneself. When we look in the mirror and see what we see, it's just what we see on an everyday basis. But when someone like you sees one of us, it attracts attention and it isn't so normal and common. You are the one giving the attention. We don't want to be stared at. Humans are already sins in their own skins. We wouldn't even be wearing clothes if we were of his making.

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    3. I completely agree with Raf. Holes in ears looks ridiculous and unattractive. It is obviously apparent that people who have giant ear holes are desperately seeking any kind of attention from other people and trying to fit into a societal mold of who they want to be perceived as.

      The argument that the Internet wouldn't exist if people were accepting of what God gave us is quite funny. So illogical!

      Basically, these people are either slaves to fashion, idiots who follow the herd of "nonconformity" or possibly their mothers didn't show them enough attention when they were small children. If someone with ears like that even comes near me, I automatically regard them as uneducated, ignorant, self absorbed, unreliable and in general I want absolutely nothing to do with them.

      Flame away, retards. Tell me all about how I am a bigot and that you are just expressing "who you really are" and all that BS.

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    4. I have stretched ears. And I am more than happy with what god gave me. You're concerned about what it will look like at 5O? Why don't you tell me how srunning you will look at 50? Sorry to break it to you pal, but we're ALL going to get old and have saggy ears regardless..

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    5. I think its funny that no one has an issue with pierced ears in the first place. If you are really of the opinion it is somehow against God to stretch, then you must also feel piercing your ears, dyeing your hair, or any other number of "accepted" body modifications are against God as well?

      And anyone who throws their ignorant opinions around, and then follows it up with calling other people "retards" just lost the argument. Wow. Childish. Small minded.

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  9. Just seeing as you mentioned a position in teaching English, I graduated high school about two years ago and when I was there one of the younger teachers, I'm assuming about mid to late twenties, had his ears stretched. He wore plugs, bleached his hair, and even dressed in a non typical style for a teacher. Despite all this, he still remained within the teacher dress code, and was widely respected among students and staff in the school. He still works there now and has been working there for several years. Maybe it's because I myself have my ears stretched, but I believe that the more popular this is among younger people, the more socially acceptable it will become. In the future I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more and more people in professional settings with stretched ears. As for whether this is for attention seekers that to me is a matter of opinion. Personally I would never put anything on my body, or do anything to it I didn't find aesthetically pleasing. This for me goes beyond piercings, tattoos, but also make-up hair cuts. I mean I'm also a girl I wouldn't wear an ugly pair of shoes just because they blended in better I'd rather wear something I like even if it happens to stand out. For the most part however most people wouldn't even know I had my ears stretched or was tattooed because I don't tend to show them off.

    My advice for your niece is to deeply consider this while I myself am happy with my plugs I know lots of people who have regretted them. Don't stretch your ears too fast or you not only risk infection, but something gross called a blow out. Lastly make sure you do your homework on the subject and take advice from professionals while stretching your ears is something you can do yourself if you can afford to it's best to have a professional handle it just to make sure nothing goes wrong. I also agree with perhaps trying those fake plugs just to get an idea however it's never really gonna show you what you look like because when you stretch your ears your lobes obviously look bigger.

    I also have to add that I disagree with stretched ears or tattoos being a sign of being unhappy with one's self if that were the case then we'd have to consider shaving and cutting one's nail's and hair as well as wearing make up all self loathing. I personally believe that body modification comes in many forms and sizes all from wearing a little lip stick and eye shadow, to getting tattooed, neither of these are even a small indication of how you feel about yourself or whether you believe in god or not. I've met many kinds of people in my life and have learned that how someone looks on the outside very rarely dictates what kind of person they are or what they believe in. Much luck to you and your niece.

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  10. Ew, one of the girls behind the counter at Wendys today had them and it was really hard not to stare. Yeah, I respect that its a personal decision for people, but I would have trouble respecting someone whose ears you can look through. We are hiring at the office right now and I can say with ome certainty that a person who interviewed with this 'affliction' would never be hired and I don't think we are a particularly conservative company.

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  11. I live in Austin, and while the people who have them or who know someone who has them likes to defend the practice, I actually AVOID restaurants and businesses who hire people with them because I think it's really revolting. I understand that person has a right to do it, but I have a right not to look at it, and I choose not to.

    I find it really ugly. Perhaps they have been doing it in other cultures for hundreds of years, but guess what? We live in a country that considers it a little outside the norm. If you want to have a better chance of getting a good paying job, especially in this economy, you need all the help you can get. And if it comes down to you with your gauged ears and the squeaky clean looking guy, most companies seem to still want the squeaky clean guy.

    And here in Texas, we live in an "At Will Employment State." So even if you go in for a job interview, they don't have to tell you that they didn't hire you because of your gauged (or stretched) ears. (By the way, around here they're called "gauged" also.). They'll find another reason not to hire you. And therefore, I've never seen anyone with gauged ears doing anything but serving ice cream at Amy's Ice Cream, working at Kerbey Lane Cafe, Starbucks, or working at Freebird's Burritos. I don't think the Apple Store will even hire people with gauged ears.

    You can do what you want...but I think kids these days are taking chances with their future job opportunities with those choices. And I'm not really all that conservative, am an artist, and don't mind "off the beaten path." But I still hate gauged ears...I just don't find it appealing to check out the color of the wall through the holes in your ears!

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  12. Just checked in with my fiancee, who is looking to open a restaurant, and he said if he was looking for a "customer facing employee," he would definitely not hire someone with gauged ears.

    Not to be mean about it, but it's still not accepted mainstream, and will affect the job prospects of people who have them, whether they admit it or not.

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    1. You do realize that is one person, with prejudice. Also, where do you live? Sounds like some small mid west or deep south area. I have gauged ears, much larger than a tiny 8 (which as mentioned before, is hardly noticeable, considering standard ear piercings are in the range of 14-12 gauge (2 to 3 size difference.. very tiny.) I have 3/4", and have never had a problem. I joined the military with gauges larger than an 8 (think they were 4guage at the time) and had no issues there (that was back in 2002) and since, have worked as technical support for Dell computers, as customer service for business accounts for sprint, and currently work as a server (while I go back to school) at an upscale restaurant in the Prudential building... which is the very heart of downtown Chicago. We cater to tourists and business professionals working in the loop.

      I can see how gauges might make it hard to land a job in a small country town, where alcohol is must likely not sold on sundays, but in any normal area.. it's just not an issue.

      Oh, and @aggiekat, you're just spouting nonsense to try and defend what you don't like.. I'm sure there's plenty of people who don't want to look at you as well (j/k) but that list is way off, considering places like Apple and especially Starbucks, are shooting for "trendy." Starbucks here in chicago (as a company) seems to hire more people with gauges than any other business, including the tattoo shops! You should try venturing outside an area where wranglers and poo covered boots are "dress attire"

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  13. If she is only going to a 6 gauge. The ears will close back up. I was at a 00 before I joined the military. My ears closed up for you cannot even see through them now. A 2 gauge is generally the point of no return but peoples bodies are different

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  14. I'm sorry; but this is crazy. I am a pretty intelligent individual and I have stretched ears. and, i love having them. in many cultures around the world stretching piercings have been around for a long time. and after reading this I'm just slightly put off by the fact that so many of you would judge people with stretched piercings so harshly. I work as a medical administrative assistant for a dialysis clinic and I was hired by a doctor that had immigrated from South-Africa; he did not judge me for having stretched ears and he praises me for my work ethic. I was also an athlete in high school, am fairly fit, somewhat good looking, have volunteered to help people with developmental disabilities and am going to school to be an economist. I do not have low self esteem and am proud of the person that I am and for the fact that I have stretched ears. I think I have stretched my ears for all of the right reasons and they have become a part of who I am.

    I only post this because I am soon moving to Washington from California and I am actually scared of the fact that I might be judged on the fact that I have stretched ears before any employers would give me the chance to work for them. I think more people should be more willing to open their minds to new cultures and ideas.

    "Fear is a product of ignorance.", "True change starts with learning." Tim McIlrath

    P.S. I know there are technical errors.

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  15. I have seen a few professionals with tattoos/piercings w/occupations that aren't in the tattoo/piercing,music,art,or other more creative field,but not many.For example,I did see an ER nurse at a very prestigious hospital w/two full sleeves,a nose piercing,& small plugs & several other ear piercings(and I'm positive he wasn't a tech or orderly,he had a big RN on his name tag,& was performing duties of an RN),but more often than not,in many professional careers that aren't in a more creative industry,it's not exactly looked upon w/favor,& can prevent people from getting jobs.But I don't believe it always does;I'm a financially secure 30 yr.old w/an occupation that isn't in a more creative industry,but I can easily conceal the fact that I have stretched ears,because nowadays there are so many options w/different styles of plugs,that people don't even know I'm wearing them,for example,you can get ones that have a flat,single flare on the front,rounded single flare,or flower on the front,& it looks absolutely no different than a button style earring.BUT,my ears are only stretched to a 00g,which is 10mm,so they're a good size,but not so large that they distort or change the shape of my earlobe.It's when people stretch them to gargantuan sizes that change the shape of their earlobe that they no longer have that option.I have always just liked them;alot of kids do it in the attempt to look different or unique,not realizing that anymore,absolutely nothing is original,& everything has been done already.I haven't worried about trying to be different or unique since probably 1998;at my age,you don't really worry about that anymore,& just do things according to what pleases you.That's why I have them,it's just something I've always liked.

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  16. Take it from someone who has been there. Weird we call it gauging here too, and had up to a 4 gauge at one point. I graduated top 5% of my class from Iowa States Computer Science program. Every single job interview I went to I was denied saying I wasn't right for the job(Iowa is one of the most progressive states in the nation, to whoever said Midwest states were backward). Now get this straight, these were jobs were I'd be managing a server or doing data clean up, so no customers would ever even see me. Crazy thing happened, I had surgery to correct the damage I caused myself, and got called back to the next 2 interviews I went to, and eventually hired from the second employer.

    To all of you who claim to be intelligent and have huge holes in your ears like I did, you are surprisingly ignorant to the fact that the majority of the people with money in this world do not like your look. I can't say I blame them, when you think about it. You don't need outer physical changes to represent who you are on the inside, I was ignorant back then just as you are being ignorant now. You are not what you look like, its time our young people(Yes me too) finally figured that out.

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    1. Sooo, you're saying that it's not what's on the outside that counts; that we "are not what [we] look like"? Then why does everyone, including YOU, choose to judge others characters based on their appearance?
      If you stretched your ears in the past it was for a reason. Yea, maybe in YOUR case you wanted to standout because you felt you lacked something in your personality. Which is probably true seeing as you got corrective surgery on the quick. YOU obviously care about what people think more than you're willing to admit. See how quickly you distinguish yourself from "them", the group of people with stretched ears to which you formerly belonged? It was a fad for you, not the potentially lifelong decision you had to truly consider. But now because your ears are "normal" you're enlightened and better. Well, I guess "I can't say I blame" you for feeling so insecure you had to change yourself when there are thousands of hipocritical people who spit out exactly what you just have.
      So really, is it the insecure that stretch their ears or the ones that get the corrective surgery to fit the norm that are insecure? Stop trying to justify your pussyfooting to stretching. We're not all like you.
      By the by, it doesn't matter where you are in the United States, to call it gauging is wrong. A gauge is a measuring unit and if you look it up as a verb it doesn't even fit the action. It is called stretching because that is what the flip you are doing to your ear! Get over it.

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    2. There's a big difference between "caring what people think" and "caring what potential employers think, because like it or not, you need to be employed to be able to afford food and shelter". Body modification is a choice, and with that choice, all aspects have to be considered. Should employers judge you based on what you do to your body? Debatable. But employers have the right to decide who they want to represent their company; if ear stretching is perceived as off-putting to potential customers, then they might decide not to hire that person. I went to a fast food sandwich shop, and the guy who handed me my sandwich had huge, sagging earlobes. It was disgusting. I have lots of friends with gauges, tattoos, etc. I don't know their reasons, but they are awesome people. I respect everyone's right to do what they want to their body. I'm not impressed with gauges, but whatever. But please, for the love of god do NOT start whining about "discrimination". Use common sense!

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    3. Hahaha. A 4g is small. You must just be an idiot. I also think you're making all of this up. Corrective surgery for 4g?????? Bahahahaha what a waste of money. There must be something about the way you present yourself as a whole. Ive never had those problems. Also...... Hahahahaaha shut up

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  17. The world is changing rapidly. We're moving from a very structured left-brain culture to a free flowing, creative right-brain structure where fitting into a mold isn't as important as it was 30 years ago. Consider IBM as an example. 30 years ago, everyone at IBM wore the same suits, walked the same way, and acted the same way. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the executive-level Ph.D's that work on IBM's Java platform and one of them had pink hair and more piercings than me. She was absolutely brilliant. If IBM can acknowledge that brilliance comes at a price (The outward facade), so can you.

    It's time that we move past the "You don't fit my mold" mentality and embrace the "You can make my business better than I ever imagined" mentality.

    When I interview people, I do pay attention to their appearance and personality. Though, I look for creativity and thoughtfulness more than adherence to standards. I, like most management teams, need people who are creative and have what it takes to stand on their own two feet even in the shakiest of times. When a kid sits in my office with 2" lobes, I know that he's got the emotional wherewithal to be himself and not hide behind a facade that was built based on his perception of what I may want. When I interview someone with tattoos and I ask them about the design they came up with, I can see how proud they are of their ideas. Of course, a big "666" and swastika on someone's forehead is bad sign.

    Scott
    Director of IT Solutions; 2 sleeves; 1" stretched ears

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  18. Hi my name is Eric Turner. I have gauged ears, I am 20 years old, living a very sucessful life. I have a decent home, a very loveable home. My life is grand. Fuck you, you're an ignorant fuck.

    Sincerly,
    ~The American who stands out.

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  19. Hi, my name is Rachel. I don't have gauged ears, I am 16 years old, living a promising life. I have a decent home, (sometimes stressful... in which case I leave!). Not really getting your point Eric. I'm happy you are having a nice life, really! You have the right to gauge your ears! Hooray for rights!

    In reply to the post (love this blog... hey, I need a blog!)
    I would say with all I know about gauging, and using tats as an example.....

    1. I don't think it's reversible... I've overheard a problem called "cat's butt" which is a result of leaving the gauges out. Very unnatractive in name and I'm assuming... appearance.

    2. At least tattoos can be great works of art, unique, whatever you want them to be... yes, can be covered up if need be... and painfully "erased" if need be.

    *sigh*

    3. Old people with gauges. I'm going to have nightmares. We all get old eventually and THAT is just going to be weird.

    4. The fact is, in this day an age, it will limit you job choices because it doesn't look professional. period. That's just life. We can start support groups and activism and whatnot against discrimination of this gauge thing all we want, but that doesn't change the fact that how we dress and treat our bodies WILL give an impression to an employer.

    An impression...

    ~so if you were the only person on earth, would you still gauge your ears?~

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    Replies
    1. ~so if you were the only person on earth, would you still gauge your ears?~


      Brilliant! Possibly the best comment made in this entire thread!

      Delete
    2. If I was the only person on earth I'd still have stretched ears because I like the way they look. Of course the beautiful jewelry other people make would be awfully hard to come by, but I'd make do.

      Delete
    3. 1) It's called "stretching" not "gauging"
      2) Stretch properly and they tend to close up quite well. Everyone has a point where they won't close up to normal holes, but they will still shrink given time.
      3) No, cat butt is from stretching too quickly. Stretch properly and you won't have that problem.
      4) If you stretched for a bad reason or change your mind stretched ears will close up on their own or surgery if it's not enough closure for you
      5) If looking at my 90 year old grandmother tells me anything I reckon loose or wrinkly lobes will be the least of my problems.
      6) There are those of us doing just fine in the professional world with stretched ears. Believe it or not there are reasonable people out there who realize that what my earlobes look like has absolutely nothing to do with how well I perform my job.
      7) If I was the only person on earth I'd still have stretched ears, provided the proper materials were at my disposal. However, I'd never shave my legs again because fuck that noise.

      Delete
  20. Alright. This was already mentioned by Daniel but, you don't gauge your ears, or any other piercings for that matter. You gauge your car, but you stretch your piercings. Gauge is some word that stupid kids came up with because they have no idea what they are talking about.

    With that being said, I see many other stupid comments on here and the article itself is equally ignorant. If you stretch your ears correctly, you're not going to get an infection, they should never become wounds. Properly stretching takes years and should never bleed, swell, or even hurt.

    If G is 16 years old, her mother needs to step up and say "Look bitch, you need to wait until you are old enough to know where your life/career is leading before you do something so permanent." This article sounds like it should be geared more towards parents than to the people that are choosing a lifestyle. And yes, it is a lifestyle, not just a fad.

    As for the people saying things like "the girl at Wendy's had her ears stretch and it's nasty" ... You should just not leave the house anymore. If you can't help but feel judgmental about other people's appearances, then perhaps you should just keep to yourself. I'm 28 years old. I have stretched ears as well as many tattoos. But I am not the guy with stretched ears, I am not the guy with tattoos. I am a firefighter. I'm the guy who runs into burning buildings to save you assholes and your stupid fucking cats when you leave a space heater on.

    Next time any of you see someone with some form of body modification, just understand that they are simple human beings and they don't need your approval or your attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am an intelligent, confident 38 year old woman with 21 piercings (not all of them visible) stretched lobes at 00, a few tats, and a longer Mohawk that's pink. Meaning it doesn't stick up but is several inches long on top with shaved sides. Ear stretching and tattooing go back to the very beginning of mankind. Obviously I didn't do it because it's cool, although I do get props from people half my age and ID'd frequently. The whole argument of what we're going to look like in 50 years is asinine. Most will have tats, holes, etc. It wont be unusual. I love looking different, not because I'm insecure. What a boring world we would live in if everyone looked the same. Open your mind people...just a little. You're really missing out on life experiences.

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  22. Your first mistake that clearly shows how obsolete this article is was calling it "ear gauging". Ear gauging is essentially pulling out a ruler and measuring how big holes in your ear are. Ear stretching is the art of progressively accommodating larger jewelry in your earlobes by using tools such as tapers, spirals, pinchers, or using others methods such as taping (wrapping specific types of tape around the jewelry to slowly stretch the piercing bigger) or dead stretching (waiting until the piercing can handle bigger sized jewelry, from it being weighed down or from playing with it a lot). I am 15 and currently at 6g (4mm) but on my way to 0g (8mm) and eventually in the future 1/2 inch (13mm). It's a personal choice. Nobody needs to explain to you why they're doing it. Some people are young and stupid for making the commitment but others understand the choice they've made and are willing to accept what they've done with themselves for the rest of their lives. It can most definitely be a career limiter but it really depends on what type of career they're going for. Someone in the more public sectors will have a more difficult finding work but any type of office job or whatnot is usually less so. There is a teacher in my school district who teaches at a french immersion elementary school has somewhat largely stretched ears (probably between 1/2 inch to 1 inch) and he looks like he's in his mid 50s and sports stretched ears better than most people I see with them on an everyday basis. I've read about people on Reddit with professional careers sporting largely stretched ears and it doesn't affect them in any way whatsoever. My girlfriend's aunt and uncle are lawyers and they have many visible facial piercings and such and they do just fine. It doesn't affect the way people do their job and the only reason people have a more difficult time finding work with their body modifications is because the employer generally discriminates them (which is illegal) for their own personal choices to express their individuality in ways that can easily be seen. Moving into the future it will become a more common practice on everyday people and we will just have to accept their choices whether we like them or not. Discrimination works in just the same way as everything else about a person. Even though the employer doesn't have the right to limit a person's possible employability they will do it anyway. You don't have to have piercings or stretched ears or tattoos for them to discriminate against you. Simply having unordinary hair (dreadlocks, coloured hair, different hairstyles) being black, religious, non religious, or even just your name all take effect when trying to get hired. The thing is, most of us with body modifications are understanding of what the job requires and if the employer requests it, we can wear retainers in our piercings or wear plugs known as hider plugs (flesh toned jewelry to hide the obviousness of stretched ears) on the job. Think about it. Not all of us are as close minded as you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is our future. This intelligent, opinionated teenager. I cant wait until this generation leads us. Youre going to be wonderfully successful and dont ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

      Delete
  23. Umm I have gauged ears currently at 5/8ths of an inch.. (&& I also have tattoos) And I have a great job. I work for Nissan. I am the best worker in my team and the only female. I get more work done than my everyone on my team combined && im barley 22 and still have a long way to go! I'm just glad my boss wasn't as closed minded as some of the people on here.. My gauges are fairly big, yes but it does not mean incapable of anything less than you. Sorry but I'm so sick of people judging others with tattoos and gauges.. We never judge others for not having tattoos. Oh and for the person who broght up God. Yea. I'm a christian. And God gave me this body. It is MY temple. And if I want to decorate the walls I will, with the creativity he gave me. My tattoos are my story, all I need is for people to ask and see them and I'm sure my story will touch them..

    ReplyDelete
  24. I just had to comment on this whole conversation. I myself do not have tattoos or gauges (yet), but the individuals who choose to do these types of body modification do it for themselves and no one else. Those who choose to modify their body generally do not care about negative opinions anyway, because they did it to make themselves happy, not you or anyone else. It is no ones business what someone chooses to do with their bodies. Live for yourself and no one else.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you, Dawn. I have stretched ears and tattoos. I have a Bachelor's degree and I'm a social worker. Better get ready, people, this "disgusting" "stupid" fad is only spreading faster. Work places are becoming way more accepting. Personally, if a firefighter was coming to rescue me from a burning building, I wouldn't care if they were tatted out or their ears were stretched, as long as they do their job. To me, seeing someone with tattoos or piercings, etc, tells me that person is happy in their body. Any time I've gotten a tattoo I'm never thinking, oh everyone is gonna like me more. In fact, no one else's opinion crosses my mind. A tattoo, for me, is almost like meditation and every tattoo on my body has significant meaning. My stretched ears are not to impress and I'm only going to stretch them to an 8 gauge, which is very minimal, but to me, it's beautiful. As far as being happy in the body God gave you, ok...God says we should not judge one another. If the body is a temple, why not decorate the walls? Stretching, piercing, tattoos, etc, has been around longer than any of us have been alive. These are not fads. I'd hate for someone to ask me about my tattoos, piercings in person and how I'll look when I'm 60...That is so incredibly rude. It's like teenage crap making fun of someone's clothes or hair color. Although those aren't permanent, it's a personal choice that shouldn't be judged but instead learned about and researched. Only then may someone give their opinion in a constructive and educated way.

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  26. Makes me lose even more faith in mankind when i read this stuff.its a turn off to religion for sure which is why i practice at home. Anything could be described a gross. These narrow backward views are to me. My rears are stretched to an inch because i could i saw some neat organics Baltic amber plugs to be exact and decided to stretch because the jewelery was beautiful. If i live in Texas the conservative capital of the world and be a med student and have 60+ year Olds be enthusiastic about wanting to learn about my ears then i don't get why some if these rude comments even exist. To say they are ride of your own opinion is like me reading this and think lol this person is clearly stupid and probably had a terrible childhood. My assumption us just that and is best left to myself. I never look at someone and think ew our oh i hate that person because of their look our race or religion. The original post is one of opinion and conjecture that was based with no merit. And after trading some of the pro stretching posts his tone changed to a lighter one. He never once asked a millom people to talk shit and as for people with stretched ears doing it to jump on the bandwagon some might but already its not the rude hateful bandwagon. I pray every day but could never practice openly in an organized seeing because of people like thus.a word of advise I'd yes take the processes flew and do it yourself I'd you get it done by a Piercer they don't feel what you do and can cause damage.and yes think out through because there are ignorant people out there. Life isn't to please someone else and do what they expect.if she us adult enough to make the choice to stretch she can accept the results and has hopeful planned ahead to adjust to life where at this point she can't work just anywhere. 0g I'd the point of no return but with that said if she stretches correctly though they won't close they can be surgically corrected for a reasonable fee usually $350 an ear

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  27. 5 words . most of it a name. Maria Jose Cristerna iS A LAWYER. LOOK HER UP... ear stretching isn't so bad now huh?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yeah... I was going to add, I have 14 pierings including stretched ears and I'm a chemical technologist. But, I also work in a lab all the time and don't deal with the public up-front... So in that case, the employer really doesn't give a damn.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am a young professional who is also in school to be a middle school English teacher. I am looking forward to stretching my ears. I'm waiting on my ear stretching kit to come in the mail any day now.

    While I don't feel the need to argue with people who don't like ear stretching, who think it's gross, or who find it unprofessional, I do have something to add to the discussion.

    First, I used to think ear stretching was disgusting and gross. There was no way I wanted to be able to see through someone's ear. There's also a young man who works at one of the piercing kiosks in our mall that has his ears stretched so large I'm sure I could put my fist through his ear lobe. I call him Elephant Boy because when he walks his ears sway like an elephant's.

    I have since taken an interest in ear stretching on a small scale. I don't want to stretch larger than a 2g, and I may not get that big, but we'll see. For anyone who doesn't know, a 0g is larger than a 2g. I have read a few articles that say a 0g is about as large as you can safely stretch and expect your ears to close back up without corrective surgery. I still think Elephant Boy is a little outrageous, but it's his body so more power to him.

    Second, for those of you who think stretched ears cannot be professional: take a look on etsy.com. I have found some very nice plugs that basically make it look like you're simply wearing large studs. I have found freshwater pearl plugs as well as cubic zirconia plugs. I would suspect many women who have stretched ears could definitely wear these to work and look completely professional.

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  30. I am in my final year of pharmacy school, and I will graduate next May and become a pharmacist. As part of our of schooling we spend our last year doing "rotations" in various sites, including retail, hospital, private practice, and industry (like Eli Lilly). I have had stretched ears for a while now and I am currently at size 4g (5 mm). In the rare times someone has noticed my plugs, I have received nothing but compliments.

    Believe me when I say that it is possible to have stretched ears and have a "good" job. That being said, I think there is a limit to how large you should stretch if you want to have a traditional career in settings such as healthcare, education, business, etc. I personally do not plan on stretching much larger than a 2 or 0g. I also think it's much easier for women to get away with it. We can always wear plugs that have a gemstone, pearl, or flower on the front. (Look on Etsy, just like Aphaiawyn said! Or bodyartforms.com)

    It is an incredibly fun modification and I have never regretted stretching my ears. The jewelry is absolutely beautiful and whenever I see my ears, I just smile. Good luck to your brother's stepdaughter, if she is still interested in stretching.

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  31. Wow. Some of the judgement is pretty harsh, and condescending to the individual with body mods who you're making a lot of assumptions about by trying to analyze and categorize every fucker, metaphorically packaging, labeling, and stowing them away on a self - which in itself is objectifying. They're just people, you can't tell someone they're going about things the wrong way. They need love and kindness just like everybody else does.

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  32. i'm stretching my ears. I'm keeping them small and putting in "plugs" which you can barely tell aren't real earrings. I'm a good student, I want to be a teacher, and I don't make problems. Just because I like stretching my ears doesn't mean I'm going to become a homeless, cracked out junkie. please don't judge people you don't even know on their choice of body jewelry. After all, I'm not judging you on your lack of grammar and spelling, now am I?
    P.S. you spelled "foggy" wrong.
    have a nice day :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lol.... first of all stretching your ears doesnt hurt. If u go to a professional its gunna hurt a lot more. They punch a hole in your ear. Ouch. The size she wants is very small and will shrink back to normal if she takes them out. Stretching your ears has actually been around longer than tattoos. I am 23 and my ears are a 2g. Thats about the size of a pencil. Anything bigger will not go back to normal later on. I have had several office jobs ranging from being a secretary for a major insurance agency to being a debt collector. I am paid well for a twenty something without a degree. I have never had anyone notice my ears at an interview. They also cant discriminate against it as some people have them religious reasons. It also by no means limits the styles you can wear. I have a pair of very professional looking plugs that look like normal earrings.

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  34. My ears are stretched to 1/2", and have been for about 9 years. I am a professional in the same career for 10 years. I am hired to consult businesses of a very high caliber. My clients respect me for being myself, and love that I have confidence to to so unapologetically. In fact, I am probably considered for the job BECAUSE I am different and confident. Innovation comes in many forms.

    It's sad that those of you with such low opinions of this beautiful traditional ancient art form have such closed minds about the topic. It's also unfortunate that you believe you have to look like everyone around you to "make it" in the world. Someday, we will all have respect for one another, despite (and because of) our differences.

    ReplyDelete