A couple months ago I got my ears pierced. Yup, I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 29 21. Growing up, I didn’t think it was a big deal to pierce one’s ears. It seemed like you were just poking needless holes in your body for aesthetics sake. It was like the jewelry industry decided to push ear piercings so they could have another product that women would need to purchase to help them accessorize their outfits. What was the point in getting your ears pierced?
It turns out that the custom of ear piercing has been around for over 5,000 years. Used by Egyptians to display wealth and by sailors to improve their long distance vision, ear piercings have gone through their own cycles of fashion. For me, I think that having your ears pierced simply makes you look more womanly. There’s an extra boost to femininity when a woman is wearing a pair of earrings.
After pondering the concept for a few days, one Monday night I head into a Claire’s and with a couple of shots from the gun I had two ears with holes in them. I was surprised that the piercing didn’t hurt more and was even more surprised that there wasn’t a torrent of blood rushing down my neck. I mean, she just poked two holes in my body! How could there not be blood? I went home that night and looked in the mirror and was surprised at how I looked different. I had bling in my ears (or at least fake bling) and it seemed to give me a little confidence boost. It was amazing how the earrings simply made me look better! When I saw my friends the next day, they commented on how I seemed to have an extra glow about me. They could tell that something was different.
This whole experience got me thinking. As women, we want to look like women (duh!) I don’t think any of us want to have someone look at us and say, “Hello sir….oh, I mean, ma’am.” It is possible for a woman to make herself look like a man. When I ride the train, I do see some women who could easily be mistaken as men, where the only giveaway is the slight boobage that’s showing. I won’t get into the reasons for why they look that way (although odds are they are trying to look like men on purpose) but I will use them as a guide to help point out things that women can do to look more womanly and less manly.
First, we can dress like women. A nice blouse and skirt or a dress both achieve this effect. Make sure not to wear something that falls into the hoochie skirt category so as to maintain respectability. When women wear trousers and collared shirts, it makes us look more manly. I understand many of us (myself included) will wear this type of outfit at work because it’s viewed as more professional, but in the end we’re still dressing like men. I’ve tried to combat that by switching to sweaters or nice feminine tops with my pants and wearing skirts whenever the weather allows.
Second, we can wear our hair longer. Having a man’s haircut makes us look more like men. Having long hair is more womanly and more feminine. Even when we have long hair, if we keep it pulled back in a ponytail or in a bun, it looks the same as having short hair. I find myself wearing a ponytail to get my hair out of the way, but when I leave, I try to remember to let it down again. I’m not here to argue the practicality of longer hair (ie time, ease of maintenance, etc.) I’m just stating the effect that long vs. short hair has in our appearance.
Finally, although I know there are others, I do think that having your ears pierced and wearing jewelry makes you appear more feminine. When I think about it, when you combine earrings with a necklace, you are drawing visual attention to your neck, which is actually a very sensual place. A woman’s neck looks completely different from a man’s neck, so the effect of the jewelry is to highlight a more female attribute.
The more I wear my earrings, the gladder I am that I finally got my ears pierced. I love that two little holes in my ear have augmented my femininity. I could spend hours looking at all the different earrings out there and discovering what my “earring style” is. I’m looking forward to being able to graduate to hoops in a few weeks. And I’m sure my friends and family are excited as well because you can’t get much easier when it comes to gift shopping than a pair of earrings!