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.