Why Ear Stretching is Popular

June 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Stretching

Article by Mark Wilson

Why Ear Stretching is Popular – Other

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Ear stretching is popular for a number of reasons, but mainly because people are seeking new ways to be different. They know that most types of body piercing are now commonplace and that many are not generally visible, being hidden beneath clothing. They see stretched ears, particularly the earlobes, as a way of making their independence easily visible to everybody. However, it has not always been for that reason that people have stretched their ears.

The Historical Culture of Ear Stretching

Stretching ears is just one of the many forms of body modification that people have been using since before historical records began. Examples are body painting, tattooing being a more permanent form of this, lip stretching, hair styling and piercings of many different types. Unlike lip stretching, where the skin and flesh are stretched out to hold circular plates, stretched ears are simply an enlargement of the piercing in the ears, generally the earlobes, but not confined to just these.

Such body modification has been carried for a number of cultural reasons, including for religious reasons, to ward off spells and witchcraft, tribal affiliation and personal adornment and beauty. Young people of today use ear stretching for the last mentioned of these reasons, although there is still a great deal of stretching carried out throughout the world for those other reasons mentioned.

Examples are the Maasai people in Kenya and East Africa, some areas of Thailand and also among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. Many carry out stretching to extreme levels, involving not only the earlobes, but also the conch of the ear, the septum and the lips, the latter being predominantly an African form of stretching. The Mursi of Ethiopia still wear large lip plates on their stretched lower lips, although as explained earlier these are straight stretchings and not stretched piercings.

Famous Examples of Ear Stretching

There are numerous examples of stretched ears, one being the stretchings apparent on the famous Easter Island Moai statues. The story goes that the Moai statues represent the ancestors of the original inhabitants of Easter Island, and were carved somewhere around 1200 CE to 1500 CE (CE=AD). They are represented with stretched ears, indicating that this was likely carried out by the original inhabitants of the island.

Another famous example is that of the boy pharaoh, Tutankhamen, whose famous gold and blue death mask exhibits earlobes stretched to at least 10 mm in diameter. The mask may be stylized, and not necessarily display the correct extent of the stretching, but there seems no doubt that this form of adornment was common in Ancient Egypt.

Another very famous example is that of representations of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Buddha. Sculptures and other forms of representation of Buddha show definite stretched earlobes.

There are few doubts that earlobe piercing and subsequent stretching of the piercings has been carried out for many thousands of years. It may be that this was a sign of stature in society, although this is not the case in Thailand and Brazil, where ear stretching has been common among all members of society for untold centuries: even now, the peoples of the Amazon Rainforest and the highlands of Thailand practice this form of bodily decoration.

How to Stretch Your Ears

If you have a desire to stretch your ear piercings, you must either have an existing piercing, or have one carried out. In the latter case, you will have to wait longer to commence the actual stretching procedure because it takes about 6-8 weeks for the initial piercing to heal sufficiently to allow it to proceed.

You can choose either to do it yourself of have it done by a professional. Because of the damage that can be done if you get it wrong, you are advised to go with the professional, although you can purchase the equipment needed online from any good flesh tunnel or ear piercing website. Recommended site – http://www.fleshtunnel.co.uk

You must be absolutely certain that this is what you want, because after a certain point it is irreversible without radical plastic surgery. That point is in the region of 10mm – 12mm diameter holes, below which the stretching will revert to normal after a period of time, although to be frank, your ear lobe will never look as perfect as it once was, even with plastic surgery – so be certain!

Ear Stretching Equipment

The equipment you and the professionals will use is roughly the same, often in the form of insertion tapers that vary is width along their length, although the pros will have theirs properly sterilized and will take the increase in diameter of the piercing in small stages, allowing about 2 weeks healing between gaugings. The term ‘gauging’ is used because that is the term used to measure the diameter of the stretched hole.

Your ears lobes might start off with a 14 gauge piercing, around 1.63 mm in diameter. This can increase in size to 12.7 mm (1/2 inch), or 0000 gauge, and even larger to any size at which you care to finish. The Maasai and Brazilians can go to very large diameters, although you will likely stop at 0.5 inches or thereabouts. You will note that the gauge numbers drop as the size of the hole becomes larger.

Jewellery for Stretched Ears

You have a wide range of jewellery from which you can choose to adorn your stretched ears. Some use flesh tunnels that fit into the hole and show the space going through your earlobe. Others use bars that fit the expanded earlobe, with various forms of adornment attached to the ends. Yet others prefer to use rings or hangers that accentuate the ear stretching, and often make it seem even larger as the weight of the jewellery pulls it downwards.

Materials range from gold, platinum, titanium and niobium to Teflon, glass, crystal, plastic, shell, bone and wood. You are advised to keep clear of the absorbent materials, such as wood and bone and also some plastics, because these can harbour germs, viruses and fungi.

Ear stretching is a great way to express your individuality, but it’s not the stretching that matters as much as what you wear with it. Make sure you get some great jewellery to go with your stretched ears and you will look absolutely fabulous – Ab Fab as they say!

About the Author

More tips and information on gauging ear lobes for flesh tunnels are avialable on 40mm ear tunnels where you will also find a selection of great ear stretchers

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Mark Wilson

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More tips and information on gauging ear lobes for flesh tunnels are avialable on 40mm ear tunnels where you will also find a selection of great ear stretchers

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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