The earring gun is loaded, it’s aimed at the tiny dot on the earlobe, and then it hits me. Why do we wear earrings? It seems to be so socially accepted nowadays that we don’t even question it anymore. Well, I am on a mission to find reasons to wear earrings.
One of the first forms of personal adornment found is earrings. They are worn for many reasons, including religious beliefs and spiritual purposes, superstitions, health benefits, self-expression, status symbols, or purely for aesthetic reasons. Earrings are worn attached to the pierced earlobes.
For the multitude of reasons to wear earrings, there are a few that apply to most people. I will expand a bit more on these reasons and add in a few surprise reasons that you wouldn’t expect.
Common Reasons To Wear Earrings
Although we don’t necessarily have to have a reason to wear jewelry, there are some reasons why we do reach for a particular pair of earrings. This list provides general reasons not governed by other influences.
- Just because I want to – We wear earrings that we simply find pretty or speak to our personal style.
- Advertise status – Earrings are worn as a status symbol. Big diamonds and gemstones convey the message that you are wealthy and of a higher income class.
- Convenience – Earrings are chosen as a favorite accessory because small earrings are comfortable to finish off a look.
- Piercing maintenance – Some ladies wear earrings purely to keep their piercings open as the holes can grow closed over time if they are not used.
- Enhance natural features – We often choose to wear a particular pair of earrings to complement or accentuate a facial feature. For example, a drop-earring ending at chin length will draw attention to a defined jaw-line, while an oversized stud earring will highlight the cheeks.
Fashionable Reasons To Wear Earrings
Throughout the centuries, our fashion choices have always been dictated by what is happening in the world. As earrings are so evidently placed near the face and form the link between clothing and hairstyle, they are particularly influenced by changes in fashion.
The rise and fall of necklines and collars, hairstyles, and hats, have seen earrings similarly increase and decrease in size and boldness. During many periods earrings have been instrumental in completing the desired fashionable ensemble.
So how is fashion dictating the current earring style in the 21st century?
- Complete the look – Earrings are crucial to adding the final touch to an outfit.
- Emphasize the era – We have vast styles from previous generations to use to compliment any style. Wear the neon hoops with your 80’s inspired outfit.
- Add color and fun – The ease of access to affordable jewelry means it is not uncommon to have multiple pairs of some fun, some sensible, and some bold earrings.
- Be a Cool Kid! – Trends in multiple piercings per ear are also a reason we wear a variety of earrings – it just looks cool!
- Influence from celebrities – Try to keep up with the Jones’s, or is it someone new today? It is also common to see more men wearing the odd stud or hoop nowadays.
- Express yourself – With awareness around individuality, more people are creatively wearing earrings to express their unique style.
Fashion styles with varying necklines also give us reasons to wear different lengths or sizes of earrings to best compliment the outfit.
Religious And Traditional Reasons To Wear Earrings
Wearing earrings is a cross-cultural norm observed since early history and one of the oldest and the most common forms of body adornment. The ear lobe was probably the most effortless body part to access, which could be why we find evidence of its piercing dating back over 5000 years. Most religions and cultures have a view on earrings, and it is interesting to see why it is a requirement for spiritual reasons.
- Primitive Tribes wore earrings as they believed metal prevented spirits and demons from entering their bodies.
- Ancient Egyptians would wear earrings to enhance their beauty and display their wealth.
- From the 14th to the 17th century, male members of the nobility would wear at least one earring. They would boast large pearl drops and huge diamond studs as a way to advertise their wealth.
- Sailors were known to wear earrings to cover payment for a Christin burial if they were shipwrecked and their bodies washed up onshore.
- In Hindu culture, Karnavedha is a spiritual ceremony of piercing a child’s ears to open the inner ear to the sacred sounds.
- Hindi also believe the center of the earlobes has a vital connection to reproductive health, eyesight, energy flow, and brain development.
- In the ’70s to the ’90s, pop culture encouraged rock and alternative spirit. Teenagers would get their ears pierced purely as a rebellious kick against the conservative traditions of Christianity and the church.
Reasons Why Men Wear Earrings
In my search for answers to why we wear earrings, I found multiple references to the question regarding men wearing earrings.
The history of earrings started with men wearing earrings as status symbols and then faded away in the western world as the conservative nature of the Christian church was the governing influence.
Today, men wear earrings for the following reasons:
- Pop-culture influence
- Religious beliefs
- Status symbol
- Some to signify sexual orientation
Reasons Why Children Wear Earrings
Children wearing earrings seem to be a contentious issue, with many believing children should be able to decide for themselves if they want earrings or not. The perfect age to have them pierced is also debated, with religious ceremonies requesting it at particular ages and medical recommendations to wait until after inoculations.
Most children wear earrings for the below reasons:
- Religious beliefs
- Parental influence