A life long stretching dream come true!
I’ll never forget when I first became interested in lobe stretching: I was sitting at my Great Grandma’s house in Michigan and she was watching some sort of documentary (I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old.) On this documentary, there were two old women who had hung weights from their ears their entire lives and their ear lobes had become long enough for them to wrap into their ponytails. I was amazed!
After that experience, I was very interested in the cultural aspects of body modification. I did tons of research on a large variant of piercings, but I knew my parents wouldn’t be too happy if I got pierced. Heck, they made me wait until I was 13 to get my lobes pierced in the first place! In my small town, it was still pretty rare to see tattoos or piercings- not unheard of, but rare. But, eventually, I decided that if I really wanted to, I could probably get away with stretching my ears for quite some time before my parents would notice and fuss. After research on the care of (and witnessing the gruesome pictures of reversing) stretched lobes, I decided I was ready to dedicate my ears to my 8 year old spirit.
At the time, it was impossible to find a pair of 16 gauge horseshoes to start my adventure. I finally found the pack of six 16 gauge horseshoes that started it all… I sat cross legged in front of my mirror and took a deep breath- boy a 16 looked huge! I took out my normal 20 gauge earrings (at this time, even touching or cleaning my earrings made me nauseous- that was a long time ago!) and I placed the 16g on my ear and pushed! I probably could have pushed harder, in retrospect; it took a long time to get them in. My ears burned and were bleeding afterward but I loved the look. I was excited and immediately knew that I wanted them bigger.
I kept my 16s in until they could move freely (this probably took 3 weeks) and then I got bored.
I pulled two more of the horseshoes out of the pack. I tugged on the ones in my ears until I could see a teeny tiny space above the hole (mind you, I don’t recommend my method of stretching…) I pushed the second one through and now I had two 16s in each ear! 3 weeks later, I added a third one!
I kept adding earrings throughout the months and eventually switched to 10’s, then 8’s, and then I got beads that acted as 6’s… I finally worked my way up to 7/16” buffalo horn spirals! I loved them! No more make-shift jewelry! I’m buying organic. And I’m not buying the cheap stuff!
The shop that I originally bought my organics from (Saint Sabrina's Parlor and Purgatory, Minneapolis, MN) didn't give me any information on how to care for them. My amber plugs arrived cracked because they were shipped in the cold and my horn spirals became very dry and started healing to my ears. I ended up studying how to care for organics: I oiled my horns several times a week; I didn’t wear my amber in humidity or cold. And I show off my beautiful jewelry whenever I got the chance.
My passion for piercings had proven useful, for as gauges became more and more popular, I was loaded with information, tips, and tricks for my friends. I knew about blow outs, infections, tricks to heal quicker, and stretch quicker. My gauged ears had begun a life long piercing fetish.
After a couple of years, I had graduated high school and I got a job in an office. After some complaints from my supervisor, I had to take out my beautiful earrings I loved so much. I rubbed tea tree oil on my ears several times a day (while massaging them and scraping off some scar tissue) until they closed up. You couldn’t even tell they were ever gauged until I’d wear heavy earrings. After that, I hated all earrings. I decided not to even wear them anymore. I thought nothing looked right on me. Nothing was heavy enough or pretty enough. I missed my beautiful organics.
After having my gauged earrings out for over two years, I just recently said “screw the company” and began to stretch again. My ears stretched amazingly fast and healed very quickly. I gauged with heavy jewelry and could go up two sizes a day with very minimal pain and no real trauma to my tissue (I’m very aware of my body’s limits!) I used tea tree oil as lubricant and within about 2 months, I got back to my "normal" size!
Now, when I shop organics that I'm unfamiliar with, I always ask questions and shop owners seem to appreciate that! In fact, more recently, when shopping for my newest plugs (Old Larimer Tattoo, Denver, CO) the shop manager overheard my questions while I was scoping their admittedly small jewelry collection and he came out with a huge bag of organic and hand crafted jewelry! He said that he's waiting for a new display case for them, and would only sell them to serious buyers. I need to give that shop a shout out because their customer service was superb!
I’ve never had a complaint about my ears at work (except for during my brief stint working at Jamba Juice), and I've worked as a Closing Assistant and am currently a Banker. I’m living proof that “Body Mods” can go into the office! I currently wear subtle organic 1/2" jewelry and I'm often complimented on the stones. I have never gotten a negative comment on them, in fact, many of my young customers who notice my ears feel like they can relate to me. I am lucky enough to live in a city, now, where body modifications are respected. I think it's very important to share with people that it is possible to have modifications in the professional world- everyone should be comfortable with their body, even if being comfortable means being able to stick a Sharpie through your ear lobe!
submitted by: peaceofkaike
on: 15 Jan. 2011
in Ear Stretching (past 1/2")