Average Height Of A 12 Year Old Boy In America The History and Culture of Stretched Ears

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The History and Culture of Stretched Ears

People have decorated and altered the appearance of their bodies since the beginning of written history. This has taken many forms over the centuries, such as tattooing, piercing, stretching, scarring, branding, muscle sculpting, hairstyling, and more, and for almost as many different reasons.

The three main purposes of these forms of body modification have historically been tribal (to show loyalty to a tribe or group of people), in war (to intimidate the enemy and distinguish friend from foe), and for fashion and perceived beauty. Ear stretching has been popular for centuries, but this popularity has increased in Western culture in recent years.

For some, there is a deep spirituality in the time-consuming process of ear stretching, while for others it is fun and more complicated than ordinary ear piercing, and the fact that fewer people do it adds to its appeal. Others have their reasons, but regardless of them, stretched ears have always been a part of human history and will continue to be so.

Reasons for stretching ears

Just as with other forms of body modification or enhancement, people throughout history have stretched their ears for a number of reasons. For some cultures it represented growing up, while for others it was performed to enhance beauty or sexuality. Throughout the centuries it was used both for religious reasons and to protect the subject from sorcery or evil. Ear stretching is still performed worldwide for a variety of reasons, including those listed above.

If you travel to Africa, you will find that stretched ears are common among many indigenous peoples, including the Maasia in East Africa, the Mursi in Ethiopia, and it is also practiced in some Asian countries such as Thailand. In South America, stretched ears are common among the Huaorama of the Amazon Basin, but you generally don’t have to go further than your hometown to see excellent examples of ear stretching. Elongated piercings and flesh tunnels are now a common form of ear adornment for Western youth.

Ice men and pharaohs

One of the more famous examples from history is Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old mummified body found in the Alps between Austria and Italy. Along with several tattoos, Ötzi had his ear stretched to about 7 mm – 11 mm in diameter. The giant statues of Easter Island have elongated earlobes, which is probably why they are known as ‘Long Ears’. The story goes that the statues were carved in honor of the original inhabitants of the island by representing them with earlobe appendages that were part of their culture. When the second tribe arrived on the island, they were known as the ‘Short Ears’ and were forced into slavery by the Long Ears. In the end there were more Short Ears than Long Ears, and the latter were overthrown and the statues overturned.

In Egypt, the boy king Tutankhamun is represented as having stretched ears, and his famous gold death mask has holes that can accommodate 10 mm diameter rods. The processes used to stretch these famous sets of ears are not known, as there are many techniques that can be used. It is likely that primitive stretches were performed using wooden plugs or bamboo, and although a few people happily return to these early methods, they are not recommended today for health reasons.

Ear stretching cannot be undone

If you are interested in stretched ears, you need to be aware of certain factors. The first is that it is generally permanent. Once they stretch, your ears stay that way. The holes don’t heal like normal ear piercings, so be sure you’re happy with your stretched ears for the rest of your life. In the beginning, there is time to stop and allow the ears to heal back to normal, but when the diameter reaches 10-12 mm, it is too late and the hole will not close. The second is that it takes time and patience. You don’t go to the piercer and come out after an hour or two with stretched ears!

If you have decided that you want to do it, we advise you to have the procedure done professionally. Yes, you can do it yourself, but a professional will give you the best results, and it will be safer. It will be faster if your ears are already pierced, otherwise you will have to do it first and then wait up to 8 weeks for them to heal. Then you can start stretching or measuring as it is often called.

This is because the diameter of the needles used is called their “gauge”. The diameter of the needle decreases as the diameter increases, so an 18 gauge needle is small – in fact, that’s the diameter of the average initial piercing. When you reach measure 2, the diameter is the diameter of the pencil, and so on. An 11mm hole is 000 in diameter (actually 11.11mm or 7/16 inch).

There is no need to hurry with ear stretching

As already explained, ear stretching is a slow process and you should never rush it. If you try to rush it, it will probably end up taking longer because if the ear doesn’t have time to get used to each lower measure, it won’t heal properly. Then you may have to start all over again. Measured ears should not bleed and a special procedure should be followed. Basically, you increase the diameter of the piercing in small increments, allowing for healing between each increment. A common way to achieve this is to use a taper insert, where one end of the taper is the same diameter as your existing hole and the other side is a larger diameter.

This can be in the form of a thread that you wear until you are ready for the next size. The next peg will have one end at the current diameter and the other end at a lower diameter (larger diameter). This is pulled through and fixed and carried to the next insertion and so on. If you keep your ears and jewelry clean and sterilize between sessions using antibacterial soap or saline, you should heal well between sessions – leave about two weeks between sessions.

Listen to the advice of professionals

It is very important to follow the advice of experts and not try to cut corners. Many people have ruined their ears with impatience, so don’t let that happen to you. Follow the cleaning instructions exactly during and after the entire stretching process. There are many different types of ear jewelry for stretched ears, including flesh tunnels, bars, and rings.

There is also a wide variety of materials, from wood or plastic to gold and platinum. Many prefer glass, while others prefer Teflon, especially if they suffer from allergies. Niobium, surgical stainless steel and titanium are also popular materials for stretch ear jewelry.

Keep in mind that not all can be worn indefinitely, especially porous materials such as wood, shells, and some types of plastic that can harbor bacteria, yeast, and fungus. Such jewelry should be removed regularly and thoroughly cleaned and sterilized. Stretching your ears makes you stand out from the crowd and can be a very distinctive form of decoration. It’s something few people regret doing.

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