Thursday, July 21, 2011

big ears, big heart

    Growing up, I never thought something as trivial as my ears would be one of my defining characteristics. My extended family hated them, strangers stared at them, but I've always loved them. In some situations I've gotten some strange looks, or the old "did you make them bigger again?!" from family, but I've also gotten a lot of positive feedback. They're one of those things where people will stop you on the street to tell you how they feel, good or bad.
little me!
    The first time I stretched my ears I was fifteen. I remember going into a Claire’s and buying a set of earrings shaped in a small spiral that got larger in the middle called a “taper”. I thought I was the coolest kid on this side of the earth, mostly because no one else in my small town had done this and I knew that in my school it was going to be completely original. I didn’t really know you could take it much further, I didn’t know what I was getting myself involved in, all I knew was I thought it looked wicked awesome and I wanted to keep them in forever. I also knew that it hurt to stretch your ears, but this almost validated it. To me, the fact that it took a little pain to do what I was doing meant more than just dying your hair a crazy colour and deciding you’re different.

    On my sixteenth birthday my mom took me to get my first piercing. I got my septum pierced because I if I regretted it I could take it out and there would be no scar. When I told some friends at school what I was doing they all said “Eww! No! Anything but that piercing, it’s ugly!”. I remember getting into the car with my mom after getting it done and instantly breaking down in tears. When my mom asked me what the matter was I told her “Everyone at school is going to think I’m weird, Do you think I’m weird?”  “NOOOO! Of course I don’t think you’re weird! Just because you’re a bit different and you want to do things your own way doesn’t mean you’re weird, it just means a lot of people are going to be jealous of you for having the courage to be yourself” This was around the time I realized I have the best mom that could ever exist.

    By the time I was 19 my ears were 1 inch in size. I remember cruising the internet for various stretched ear forums. I would join them but quickly realize that they were filled with smug elitists obsessed with “dichro” glass plugs who wouldn’t stretch their ears bigger than your pinkie finger. I remember thinking
Are you kidding me? You’re too scared to stretch your ears big enough for them to not go back when it’s not “cool” anymore and you’re going to be an elitist jerk because someone doesn’t know the difference between a “gauge” and a “plug” GIVE ME A BREAK!

I often hear “Why would you do that? You’re such a pretty girl” but what people don’t realize is that I feel prettier with my giant ears than I could ever feel with bare lobes. I look at girls and they look odd to me because they don’t have a giant pair of earrings accenting their already beautiful faces. I can proudly say that I’ve had my ears stretched for seven years, currently sitting at 1 3/8”. They’ve become as much a part of me as any of my limbs, they make me feel like myself. I would feel so naked without them, I can’t even imagine not having them a part of me. I’ll never give them up, and I cannot wait to be the old lady who makes jokes about having to tuck her ears into her socks, that’s just so me.

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