READER SUBMITTED QUESTION
I am interested in stretching my ear lobes and would like to learn more about it. First I am wondering if I should do it. Why is stretching considered popular and will it make me more attractive? I am a young girl in my late teens.
Next, will my lobes go back to their normal size when I am done wearing them?
I'm All Ears
Dear I'm All Ears,
Lobe stretching, also known as gauging, has become a very popular body modification amongst both men and women. Harkening back to the African tribes, stretching has proven the elasticity of skin. Worn in conjunction with other jewelry pieces, such as a nipple, eyebrow, nose or lip piercing, stretched earlobes help to define personal style. Whether or not you are of tribal descent, gauging has gained social acceptance.
With that said, is it your style? I believe gauging works when it coincides with the rest of your individuality. For example, wearing big wooden earrings in your stretched lobes while dressed in a typical and conservative nine to five suit may look misplaced. Yet throw on a pair of black eyeglass frames, a funky hairstyle and maybe a wrist or hand tattoo with that suit, and suddenly those wooden earrings can look pretty darn cool on the right guy.
I think if you are going to wear this style you should do so with...style. As that's truly the key. Being a girl you'll have plenty of jewelry styles from which to choose. If paired with a playful hair color and black cateye liner, large lobes can still look sexy and feminine.
Next you need to consider the long term effects of your piercing. If stretched properly and just one or two sizes, they should go back to their normal size within several months of discontinued wear. If not, you may need surgery to close the hole and help it heal properly. The larger you gauge, the less likely your ear will ever go back to its original size. Surgery can be very expensive so make sure you get your ears gauged properly the first time and follow all aftercare recommendations to ensure best results.
Further, you will need to allow proper healing time in between each stretch, so the process of gauging can take several years. The aftermath is often rumored to be burning and pain while the hole enlarges. Although many people expect gauging to hurt, if it is done properly there is usually no pain, just sensation. For many people, this can offer a sense of accomplishment while testing their own strength and adaption to modification.
Other people are simply curious about the body and how it can be pushed to extremes and then healed in just a matter of time. No matter your reasons for wearing this unique modification, you'll have plenty of jewelry options from which to choose as you gauge your ears. Unless you have the proper equipment and the understanding to stretch at home, you should visit a professional each time you decide to gauge up.
Remember that sun exposure, your age and the piercing placement can all affect the healing times for your modification. Any weighty rings or metal jewelry will help naturally enlarge your piercing as you gauge it, so consider this when adorning your new modification.
If after reading this the process still entices you, I suggest you visit a reputable body piercer and start the process of gauging slowly. Be sure to follow their aftercare suggestions to clean your piercing, your jewelry, and help prevent infection as you gauge onward and upward.
Best of luck!