New to ear stretching or need some tips? We’ve got you covered!
A form of self-expression as unique as each individual, body art in all its beautiful and varied forms is a practice that spans more time and space than the average Joe might know. From tattoos and surgical body modifications to piercings, body art can be intended to convey the adorner’s status in society, enhance appearance or sexual pleasure, serve as a spiritual metaphor or religious ritual, signify a rite of passage, commemorate an important event on one’s life timeline, or just be fun.
Most pierced people seem to share the notion that such body mods –as they are permanent- are a physical display of the belief that you are not your body. That there is something eternal beyond the bone and blood which carries us through this life. Despite shared personal significance, cultural or social significance varies. A pierced nose on an American teen at the local strip mall might carry a different cultural implication than a golden nose ring on a female in India, where it indicates her membership in the upper echelon of society. The stretched ears we see at punk rock shows can be an expression of group identity just as it is in the tribal societies of Africa, the Amazon, and Australia.
The techniques used to achieve a stretched piercing are as numerous as the reasons behind doing so. No matter the size (or “gauge”, in industry terms) you hope to achieve, it all begins with a needle and a tad bit of bravery. The typical ear piercing starts with an 18 or 20 gauge needle (approximately one millimeter in diameter, or about the size of an average sewing needle), but piercing needles can come as large as a six gauge (four millimeters).
If you are unsure about stretching we suggest to visit an industry professional in person so they can give you advice based upon your ear lobes.
All information herein is to be used at your own risk. Always consult a certified or well known body piercer about your body modifications.