But seriously. I don't. I know that they make a lot of cool earrings for people with STRETCHED (not gauged, a gauge is a size) ears, but I just feel like if you REALLY want to wear those earrings, you aught to stretch your ears.
I do understand the people who simply can't stretch their ears due to work conditions or having lobes that are far too small to do so (though I've seen plenty of people with small earlobes stretch their ears to ridiculous diameters), or those who are just wondering how it would look.
But I feel like it's faking it. Like having fake tattoos rubbed on, or wearing extensions (unless your job won't allow you to have dyed hair, obviously, but I don't like extensions regardless unless they're being used for hair falls). I just don't like it!
I'm not trying to hate on anyone's crafts here, but I just...think it's silly to wear those around, when there are plenty of AWESOME and GORGEOUS earrings for people without stretched ears too.
This also goes for the fake plugs that Hot Topic sold a few years ago. They didn't even look remotely real, especially when it covered the bottom of the earlobe. THOSE looked stupid (simply because they were TRYING to be fake plugs, I thought they woulda been cute as legit earrings).
Also, they are not called gauges. I'm sick of reading it and hearing it, and I want more people to be informed. They're called plugs, eyelets, talons, claws, hanging, ornate, spirals, even just earrings.
tl;dr: Want to wear sick 00g earrings? Stretch your ears.
But seriously. I don't. I know that they make a lot of cool earrings for people with STRETCHED (not gauged, a gauge is a size) ears, but I just feel like if you REALLY want to wear those earrings, you aught to stretch your ears.
I've got one that I'm going to put in my ear, one of those curly tribal looking ones that it's impossible to get in normal sizes, and even really hard to get fake ones. I'm allergic to lots of stuff so can only wear titanium earrings and it's surprisingly hard to find anything decent, and affordable, that I can wear. I can see why it annoys you, but I like the look of the big tribal swirled earrings and think stretched earlobes are hideous.
Keyword "fake". Some may like the look but don't want to commit to the actual ear stretching and the same with tattoos and other things that are permanent. I'm with KK though, stretched earlobes are a bit gross to me, but I don't look down on people who do that or wear the fake ones; to each their own.
I don't understand the real ones either. I think it looks neat when they are in but when you take them out, bleck.
But, I do understand the fake ones to a point. If you are a tween teenager I think they are perfect. Their parents probably won't let them stretch their ears. I certainly wouldn't let my sons do it. That to me is a major descision. You can't put your ear back or hide it once it is done. Unless you get surgery. And I think it is a good idea for people who want to try it out and see how it looks before they actually do it.
I've stretched lobes to a 0, have worked my way up over the period of four years. I also have seven tattoos, and i do tattoos.
To put it simply, people want to experiment. I don't agree with people wearing temporary tattoos as if they're real, or artificial plugs as if they took the time patience and pain of stretching.
as has been said before trying out a look is all well and good but there's a wonderful tool these days called GIMP(photoshop style free program) that's much cheaper than polymer clay.
But anyway on to the point I'd like to make.
In every culture, ever, there will be fakes and liars. there are fake punks, fake goths, fake people. Some people will do anything to fit in without the dedication to what a subculture is and stands for. It's sad, but it's inevitable.
Oh and Pixii, check out Mohawk thread in hair and beauty. The extensions i have right now may be an exception to your comments, as they're not meant to look like real hair. They shine and move like plastic.
I have awful wording! Autonomous, what you said was precisely what I was aiming for. Like I said, I understand people wearing fake plugs when they want to see how it looks, or simply because they like the look but their parents won't let them or their job won't.
But it's the people who try to pass them off as real ones who irritate me.
And I actually enjoy things like hair falls, fake dreads, wigs, and stuff like that...and again I understand not dying your hair because of parents or a job, but if you sit there and go "oh don't you love how I dyed my hair!?" then uhm. No.
I stretched my ears when I was thirteen to a 0, over the course of about four months. It was incredibly painful, and I ripped one earlobe. I'm very into the modification community, so when people have fake 'piercings' and they try to pass them off as real, it makes me incredibly angry, because I can tell (especially with the stupid suction balls for tongues and whatnot). Again, not putting down anybody who has them, I just think it's ridiculous to say "oh, look, I stretched my ears!" when they didn't. Because it's painful. And I've only just recently gotten my left ear to a six. It takes forever.
And yeah, lobes without the plugs in look a little silly/gross, but most everyone I know tends to keep them in (unless they're sleeping, in which case they take them out to prevent horrible horrible accidents).
I actually use Photoshop to see how I'll like a piercing on my face. =) And I usually edit my hair color to see about that, too.
I have fake ones but a few actually do look real. I love the look when they're tiny (having huge ones just look primal and silly)but my job doesn't allow it and I doubt many others I'll have will appreciate the gaps in my ears. Plus I like being able to have "gauges" one day and the next go back to cute studs. Fake ones are for people who like the style but also like the freedom of trying everything out and not limiting themselves to one type.
Why should someone have to make a permanent lifestyle choice in order to have a 'look'? Do you feel they are a 'fake' part of your tribe or something?
At the end of the day, an accessory is an accessory and if someone gets that looks with less pain than you, they have every right to do that. If you want to do it 'properly' then that's your choice - are you that insecure that you feel people might think yours are fake because theirs are??
In the nicest possible way, as someone who wears alt/indie fashion myself, what I find the MOST infuriating are 'alt snobs' and 'indie competitors' ... who use the style to exclude others if anything MORE than the worst Vogue fashion-bitch or seem to want to prove they can stand more pain/look less mainstream than anyone else. That's not what Alt/Indie is about to those of us who've been there years, and it pushes people away, in turn compounding fear/bullying between scenes and tribes. It's simply self-centred, childish and a way of maintaining an 'exclusive clique'.
Take this to it's logical end and the following things are also wrong because they aren't permanent/painful 'enough':
-semi-permanent hair dye/any dye without bleach
-Make-up (why not tattoo eyeliner on...)
-Spanx (how dare she look good when I HURT to look that size..?)
-Push up bras (why look like you've paid/done the pain of an op when you haven't).
Once you take it into 'mainstream' fashion, it all seems rather bitchy and silly.
I can't seem to edit... with the 'fake' thing. Sigh. To an old bird like me it's painful: being 'fake' or 'real' is about your beliefs and values- NOT how much pain you went through to get that look.
That's turning piercing and body-mod into some kind of sport or rivalry. If you feel that's the base-line of being with your scene or tribe then IMO you've missed the point of self-expression.
It's not about 'winning' or making everyone feel they have to prove they aren't 'fake'. I'd take a mainstream 'looking' gal or guy who knows the music and social scene I do inside out than an adult-child propping up the bar boring me to tears by telling me how they got their ink over a bone cause it hurts more maaan. I know who I would feel was more superficial.
Fake has a nasty ring of 'are you in our club or not' about it: I prefer superficial because it describes more about a person's overall behaviour and doesn't focus on little 'clubcards' like the right ink/piercings/plugs/hair etc'.
-sigh- That's...honestly not what I'm trying to do here. I'm not trying to argue, I'm not trying to say "ahh you're a fake you're stupid you should never ever wear those", I'm saying that people who go "Oh, look how big I've stretched my ears!" when they haven't, annoy me to no end.
However, a lot of people have piercings and tattoos and even stretch their ears (and make much heavier modifications) for extremely personal reasons. So a lot of people get pissy about others with fake piercings, or to people who simply don't think about it and just...throw a needle through their skin to be cool. My biggest problem is the 'trendy' thing, honestly. Not that I'm upset that piercings and tattoos are much more commonly accepted in work places now, though.
And no! Push up bras have been around for a lot longer than breast augmentation (I'm talking going back to the beginning of corsets), so it's not the same. And makeup, too, is entirely different. Semi-permanent hair dye? I've used it. I don't call people out on it, because I understand that it's not allowable in a LOT of places (a lot of schools, homes, work places...). And I have no earthly idea what spanx are, but they sound like the "trimming tubes" or whatever it is that people wear to look thinner. And in that case, I wouldn't know because I probably wouldn't be able to see it, and if I did know, I doubt I would care, and if anyone did care, they should probably be punched in the teeth.
I'm not trying to be bitchy, or silly, or have an argument. I was just expressing the fact that I don't really understand a lot of the time why a person would choose to wear fake plugs. A LOT of the time, not all the time, I understand in a few situations. However a lot of the time, they do look incredibly silly and far too big/wonky to be actual earrings, however a lot of people like that too. I <3 dangly earrings, personally...just not wearing half a pound of Fimo on my ears.
I'm just trying to make a point and express why I don't understand the fake plugs, not have a debate over whether or not it's "right" for others to wear them. I don't like what I don't like, and some people like the things that I don't, and I'm sure that there are plenty of things that you don't like that others like as well.
Ah. Just got to read the next bit of your post. When I refer to something as fake, I mean the LITERAL DEFINITION of FAKE. It's NOT ACTUALLY what it looks like. "Stone" made out of plaster? Fake. I'm not talking about the people. I'm talking about the people who lie and PRETEND like they went through pain, here, and when I say lie, I mean, when/if they are asked, they say "oh yeah it took me this long to get to this size". I didn't assert that in my original post, but I made that pretty much clear in my second post.
I had a friend at school who'd modified a hoop earring to look like a nose ring - she wore it for a bit and made out she'd got her nose pierced. I think the short answer for why people do it is because its quicker, painless and just easier! If you can try out a look without having to commit yourself to something for life then I tend to think why not. It can give you the freedom to be a bit impulsive and express yourself. I used to have my hair shaved and a bleached streak at the front and loved it at the time but it was a lot of time, energy, money and all the rest. It was fine when I was 16 - 22ish but now I'm 35 I'm just as happy with a quick fix (i.e. some clip on streaks) as I was with the whole separating your hair, bleaching it, wrapping it in cling film, waiting, washing out, dying it, conditioning it and so on.
Squiz, i understand your point entirely. Yes, a agree that fashion in all of it's forms, the "easy way" and the "hard way" are available for all.
Allow me to present what i have previously stated in a smaller scale, as to better communicate it.
There's a tattoo artist in NYC who has no tattoos, but is respected as one of the greatest ink slingers in the country. Not having tattoos does not make him a poseur. it does not mean he doesn't love and understand tattooing. It just means he does not want to wear them himself.
At the same time, fourteen year old teens are allowed to get tattoos, and do so. at least half of these will be covered up due to regret or poor design choices by the time they're 20.
Presence of style has nothing to do with subcultures and their shared mindsets. it is simply a byproduct of people coming together with similar intent and tastes. No one subculture can "own" a fashion concept, that's not how ideas work. It's just the association that goes with it that can result in the silly resentment of any subculture towards peers who don't share their ideals.
Pixxi, with all due respect, there seems to be some going foreward and backtacking in your posts(your first was an emotive 'rant', but then suddenly the information about lying comes in and it starts to sound 'reasonable'). Also the 'sigh' thing and the explaining about body-mod culture, I found that rather patronising. As a former performance artist who has also studied body mod as a form of performative behaviour, I am well aware of the movement and have been around/in it since the mid 1990s and the early days of Orlan's work. I re-read my posts and nothing in them seems to indicate I need a lecture on why people do what they do etc'.
Autonomous gives an excellent example of what I mean. It isn't only to do with people taking out extensions for their 9-5: the fundamental thing is that when it comes to self-expression, one can do as little or as much as one wants, say what one wants, and that (provided it doesn't injure another) is OK. That is why body art and modification are the ideal medium for PERSONAL self expression - but it must be exactly that, personal. Anything done through pressure of competition (and believe me I have interviewed plenty of people who have had permanent work done either through peer pressure or spousal pressure - or even, as one woman who deliberately got ink that would upset her peer group whilst depressed- as a form of 'self harm' to cut herself off) is no longer healthy self expression.
It is why, in my eyes, a burlesque performer with a whole-back of Betty Paige is enhancing her natural self through tattoos, whereas a lad with a generic tribal sleeve like 100s others, design picked on the day, might as well have body painted it on for all it says about him as an individual. All his sleeve says is 'I can stand x amount of pain, and am part of the Newquay scene' (or, more honestly '...and am NOT mainstream' ... why get ink to say what you are not? Use it to say what you ARE). Unfortunately, in any fashion/behavioural tribe from mainstream to untra-alt, there are people who confuse the signifiers (whether that be thin/barbie hair, corset/victory rolls/50s flash or dreds/plugs/piercings) with the signified (a love of modern/financial security, glamour/nostalgia, cyber/alt clubbing/lifestyle). The real superficial ones ('fakes' if you like to call them) are the ones who have disguised their outsides perfectly, but inside don't get it. Ironically, these people (and again, talking from my peer group) are often the first to pressurise others to look just like them- because they need to 'prove' to themselves they've made it and done it the right way. Someone who embraces the culture and uses body mod purely to self-express needs no such reassurance.
With comments like 'if you don't really have it/the pain you're fake' (and here, I am not just referring to your post but 15-20 years of similar comments heard by certain of my peer group to - often younger- newbies) I have always sensed some kind of 'on upmanship'. Sadly it is exactly this kind of discourse, combined with the natural desire to 'belong' to a chosen group, that leads to people going for the external before the internal has created a 'vision'. And sadly, once this canvas is used, it is used and cannot easily be changed to express the real person inside: they are trapped in something worse than a bland, blank skin- they are trapped in the outward expressions of someone else, like an echo.
It is therefore absolutely fundamental to those of us passionate about self-expression to avoid clique 'rules'. Again, I am saying this not only about this post but (as I have always done) to challenge every time I have heard a mate say it to a teen trying to fit in etc'.
If anyone is interested in who ORLAN is:
I don't think this is an official site, but most sites with pictures are in French (because she is French).
It is too early for me to respond coherently, but I'm going to wave the white flag and refuse to argue anymore, because I wasn't trying to be patronizing, and I wasn't trying to be a bitch, and I certainly wasn't trying to place anybody in a clique, though I do have to agree with the one statement you made, something about the truly, deeply superficial people who will go to extremes on the outside and pressure others to fit into that same suit, if you will. Again, I am so tired I doubt I can actually be appropriately coherent, so if something I say comes off as moronic, then I'm sorry.
I say again; I don't like what I don't like (unfortunately that happens to include a vast majority of the general populace, and a lot of things that a LOT of other people like).
If it helps, those who sit down to make the fake plugs have a hell of a lot more craftsmanship with clay than I do, I can barely roll a round ball of clay, let alone do odd twisty things with it. I still maintain that I don't like them, though.
Edit: Agh. I wasn't at any point trying to lecture anybody, I was just bringing up points, not actually trying to be overly informative or anything.
I hate fake guage jewelry also! I think kids buy it to fit in and look cool, but really it makes them look stupid. I agree, there are so much more beautiful regualr jewelry they could wear.
I am stretching my ears atm too. And just for the record... it should NEVER HURT To do so. If it does, you are doing it too fast or are doing it wrong. Stretching isnt supposed to be painful. "Tapers" are probably why it "hurts". After 8g, you should STOP using tapers and start using layers of tape instead.
And (if u do it correctly and dont fuck up ur ears) Stretched ears CAN GO BACK to their original shape. As long as u dont majorly stretch them. If u stretch them to the point where u can get a pencil thru it, it will still shrink back to normal over time.
But mostly i really hate the stupidity of lil kids that stretch because they think its cool. They are fucking up their ears and its no wonder their parents get mad at them & they end up in hospitals. They give the modification community a bad name. It angers me thoroughly.
Anywho, i agree fake plugs are stupid. Whoever came up with them are idiots. ...on another note, i cant wait to make real plugs from clay when i stretch my ears enough. Which might be a few years. ;( lol
I don't think they're stupid, per-se, I just think that a majority of the time they look silly/not good. Of course, I know a guy who has his ears stretched to 3 inches, and he looks...pretty damn silly.
Agh, be careful with clay plugs, though. A lot of the time they end up kinda bad for your ears, not always though.
I've got to admit, and this isn't meant to sound elitist or anything - but I don't think people pretending they have tattoos, or piercings or anything else they're waffling on about that isn't true is really a big deal. They're just talking themselves up pointlessly because in the end, I care very little what they look like or how they dress.
It's like going to a party and having people talk about the 'gumi goth' that showed up in a fake pvc trench-coat. I'm always confused as to why anyone honestly cares how someone else dresses? Or if they're pretending to be part of a subculture ( I dislike that word because I think there are SO many of them that intermix and most of them dont even know what the subculture is) that's entirely up to them. If they want to identify themselves as part of a 'group' that's there thing - not mine.
The only time I care is I'm stopping to go 'ooooh pretty'.
I can understand why people do the fake look (to a point) I have fake clip in red hair strands and I used to have a earring I used to put in my nose and gemstone stickers (I'd alternate the two) and have fake nose piercings because I wanted the look but was too scared to actually get the piercing done.
The fake hair is purely because my naturally dark hair doesn't take colour well.
However if people comment on any of it, I tell them straight that it is a fake and it really doesn't bother a lot of people because they thought they were genuinly real. It's better to just be honest...
I'd imagine the fake tattoo thing is kinda hard to pull off to be real. I don't do it for this reason, but again I'd love to get a REAL one, but I'm scared of the pain
As for the whole plug looks, I personally dislike them. I don't begruge anyone that does it. It just gives me the bad memory of a guy from school that I knew had plugs, we went to a pub and my mates dared him to put the snooker cue through his hole. He got managed to get a fair put of it in - it was disgusting!!
Just my views, I never really seen what the big deal was about ear stretching in the first place. (real or fake)
They don't appeal to me in any way. I'm not too big on piercings though.
And I think fake tattoos are a life saver, my friend got a fake one (that was very similar to a real one she was considering). And she opted out because after awhile the tattoo annoyed her.
But fake things don't really bother me, fake nails, earrings, tattoos...if a person wants to wear those I could care less. I guess just myself, I don't wear fake things often but I'm not against it. If I want long nails I grow them out and paint them, hell of a lot cheaper than paying 30 dollars each time. But I do put on tanning lotion. I don't tan out in the sun lmao.
And I seen someone mentioned Spanx...OMG I LOVE spanx. They are a lifesaver for me lol. I look so much better in tight clothes when I wear them.
I have a few tattoos, and I've had my ears pierced (twice, after the first one healed, going back home to straighten out my life) and I stretched up to 00 within the space of 3 months (from a 16).
After an interview for the job I currently have, my soon-to-be manager noticed what I was wearing for plugs, which happened to be a pair of blue screwdriver bits. He asked me," How willing are you to part with those?" My response was to pull them out, immediately... Earrings aren't nearly as important as providing for a family, you know?
Anyway, it's been a few months, and I have yet another tattoo, and my wife and I recently agreed that I SHOULD get the fake plugs, because (1) she loves how they look and (2) my ears aren't closing any further, apparently (they're back to 16's).
So, to each his own, but for us, it's a matter of personal taste.