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Forum Home - Go Back > Off Topic > Chit Chat Plugs Not Drugs! Plugs Not Drugs!

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Old 05-30-2015, 07:34 PM   #1
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Plugs Not Drugs!

So a couple months ago I decided I was going to start stretching my ears. No, I did not tell my mom I was going to do this because she would have freaked at the time... So I purchased a taper kit and began that night with the 16g tapers. Now I'm at an 8g which is still not very big. But unfortunately my mom did find out a couple weeks ago. She did make me take them out for a couple of days but I put them back in no problem. She always gives me the speech about "your ears are never gonna shrink back and you'll regret it later." Honestly I understand where she's coming from but I don't plan to go above a 00g which is I believe the biggest you can go so they will still shrink back down. I clean the tapers and I take good care of my lobes so I'm not worried about any sort of infection or blowing out my lobe. I love my tapers(: and I wish my mom would just leave me alone about it. I'm 18 and graduated so she won't really tell me to take them out but she pretty much just makes me feel like a freak. But!!! For my first real comeback discussion I am thinking of bringing up how even our ancestors were stretching their ears way back when and try to guilt her into accepting the tapers/gauges as respect for my great grandmother's culture. I admit this could be a new low for me but I'm determined to get her to accept it! Because I like what I like and honestly don't care if its normal or not. And actually these days stretching your ears is becoming much more common in younger people so its not such a bizarre thing to do.

If you could think of any other way to try and get my stubborn, old fashioned, conservative mother to understand and accept this truly time old tradition, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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Your mother is right and I hope your ear lobes break in half. That would be a funny sight.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
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Got any ideas what your ears are going to look like when you are old and wrinkly? They're going to be dragging the ground like the rest of your body parts.

But I say go ahead and do it. Then you'll just look bad when you're old.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:07 PM   #4
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And yeah, if you're 18, move the hell out. You're an adult and should be able to handle adult responsibilities on your own. No need being childish and living under your mom's roof, eating her food and sleeping in her house. You're an adult. When you pay your own though life, you can do what you wish.

That's what your ancestors did. Honor them by being an adult.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintergirl View Post

If you could think of any other way to try and get my stubborn, old fashioned, conservative mother to understand and accept this truly time old tradition, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
Tradition? Who's tradition? The only American tradition is see here is teenage REBELLION.

You are not the First Teenager on Planet Earth, nor is your generation the first.

We all went through this stage. People are paying Big Bucks to get teenage tattoos burned off with

laser.

You better save money for a plastic surgeon, because you will have to get your ear lobes repaired.

Stop messing with traditions you are not part of
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:38 PM   #6
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:59 AM   #7
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@whitegirl

The whole "Body Mods" subculture is thriving, but too many young people jump into this without sober thought:


http://blog.saintsabrinas.com/2014/1...ing-dont-sell/

Using tapers for stretching should only be done by an experienced professional.

At Saint Sabrina’s, we get quite a few phone calls asking if we sell tapers for stretching, so we wanted to take a few minutes to give you a more thorough answer to this common question.

A “Taper” is a tool that helps insert body jewelry. Some piercers also use them to help “stretch” a piercing from one gauge-size to the next. Tapers are shaped like a pin, but with a smooth rounded tip. The smaller end will be the thickness of one gauge size, and the other end will be the next size up.

“Fashion Tapers”, which can be found online, or at retail/novelty stores, are not safe for stretching under any circumstances- they are basically low quality costume jewelry. The extreme jump from a thin point on one end to a much larger size on the other end defeats the purpose of a gradual “tapered” stretch. This extreme jump makes it very easy to tear your skin when using that type of taper for stretching.

A long, smooth, and very gradual taper is necessary for this tool to be used safely

Fashion Tapers are often made from acrylic, which is a material that can’t be sterilized. Sterilizing a taper is the only way to ensure it is free of bacteria and other harmful organisms. Acrylic also breaks down over time in the body, and has the potential to be toxic. It simply isn’t safe to put in the body.

All of these tapers are inappropriate because they are made from acrylic/plastic and because the “taper” is way too severe.
Stretching a piercing too quickly or too much at once will result in tearing.
Acrylic is not a good material to be worn in piercings and the taper is way too severe.

A quality taper made from the proper material(s) and with the proper shape isn’t cheap. One of the big reasons we don’t sell tapers for stretching is because it’s less expensive for our clients to have us help them accomplish the stretch than it is for them to buy the right kind of taper.

Aside from the cost, a simple tool like a taper can be devastating in the wrong hands. An apprentice (in-training) piercer would spend an extensive amount of time learning how to use a taper properly and safely; observing their mentor over and over before finally practicing on people. Even then, the apprentice would be under the direct supervision of their mentor until they can be sure the apprentice is prepared to use tapers properly.

We have seen endless numbers of clients attempt to user tapers to stretch their piercings on their own – including clients who do a lot of research and try to stretch appropriate (i.e., not too much at once and not too quickly). Even then, we have seen severe mistakes made simply because the client didn’t have the experience to know something was wrong. Simply fumbling a bit when you are putting the jewelry in can cause a scratch in your skin that can lead to infections, scaring, or even thin spots where your lobe could eventually “break”.

For all these reasons, we choose not to sell tapers for stretching to our clients. We love using our years of experience to help people achieve beautiful healthy piercings. We encourage you to take advantage of that experience and expertise. We are always happy to discuss safe and successful options for stretching with you.



Thanks to Brett Perkins from Anomaly Piercing, Ken Seyler from Matrix Tattooing and Piercing and the whole crew at Anatometal, Inc for the pictures!
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintergirl View Post
So a couple months ago I decided I was going to start stretching my ears. No, I did not tell my mom I was going to do this because she would have freaked at the time... So I purchased a taper kit and began that night with the 16g tapers. Now I'm at an 8g which is still not very big. But unfortunately my mom did find out a couple weeks ago. She did make me take them out for a couple of days but I put them back in no problem. She always gives me the speech about "your ears are never gonna shrink back and you'll regret it later." Honestly I understand where she's coming from but I don't plan to go above a 00g which is I believe the biggest you can go so they will still shrink back down. I clean the tapers and I take good care of my lobes so I'm not worried about any sort of infection or blowing out my lobe. I love my tapers(: and I wish my mom would just leave me alone about it. I'm 18 and graduated so she won't really tell me to take them out but she pretty much just makes me feel like a freak. But!!! For my first real comeback discussion I am thinking of bringing up how even our ancestors were stretching their ears way back when and try to guilt her into accepting the tapers/gauges as respect for my great grandmother's culture. I admit this could be a new low for me but I'm determined to get her to accept it! Because I like what I like and honestly don't care if its normal or not. And actually these days stretching your ears is becoming much more common in younger people so its not such a bizarre thing to do.

If you could think of any other way to try and get my stubborn, old fashioned, conservative mother to understand and accept this truly time old tradition, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
Do you know what "culture" your great grandmother was? Perhaps they did not do this. Since you are 18, I'm going to suggest you just simply state to your mother that you like it and you are going to do it. As others have said, consider what this will look like in 30 years. Maybe not so appealing.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:47 AM   #9
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"Giles: This is the SATs, Buffy, not connect-the-dots. Please pay attention. A low score could seriously harm your chances of getting into college.

Buffy: Gee, thanks. That takes the pressure right off.

Giles: This isn't meant to be easy, you know. It's a rite of passage.

Buffy: Well, is it too late to join a tribe where they just pierce something or cut something off?"

-- Jane Epson, "Band Candy" Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


I would suggest you concentrate on the first rite of passage and leave the piercing and cutting alone.

I get that in the dominant culture, children have to establish a separate identity as an adult through symbolic repudiation of their parents. But please could you pick something that is less icky? Or at least try embracing that adult role by looking ahead and considering for just a few minutes that in 20 years, despite your current expectations, you'll be old like your folks and weighted with the same concerns -- raising and supporting a family. What you do now will have implications. This choice will just make you less attractive in your old age. But the practice on something like this might serve you well, when the decisions will lead to a more serious aftermath.

But, heck I'm an old fuddy duddy like your mom.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
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What do you want to do post high-school or college?

I worked with many people who were covered in tattoos and had large gauge piercings and they always had issues with getting work because of them. I remember one guy I worked with at Staples (when I was in college) and customers always complained about him and management had to give him an ultimatum. He eventually agreed to remove the accessories that he could during work.

If you want to work at a piercing place, tattoo parlor, record store, or be a roadie for a band (a terrible job after a few gigs) then you can do whatever you want. If you want to be a professional working in an office or interacting with general public then don't get crazy piercings or tattoos in highly visible places.

I went to college with way too many rebellious people, they were drunk or high all of the time, they got 'tatted up', and all manner of body alterations (gauges and tongue rings) and guess where they are now? Most are working minimum wage jobs, which for them doesn't last very long as they get fired frequently, and aren't even trying to pursue a job in the field they studied.

Think about your future.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:00 AM   #11
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Last night while I was working, I stopped in the nearby 7-11 store where the young clerk normally wears acrylic tapers in both ear lobes.

No Tapers in his ears. Hmmm...I ask what happened.

He tells me his ear lobes got infected and he couldn't take the pain any longer.

True story. Word of caution.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:35 PM   #12
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As one who went through the whole body-mod phase during my late teenage and college years and has had permanent things done to her body, I'd say think very carefully before you start gauging out your ears or anything else that can be easily seen. In addition to this, don't start throwing in the culture or ancestors excuse in unless you're actually certain and knowledgeable that YOUR ancestors actually did it. Be knowledgeable enough of your OWN cultural history that such a permanent act has true meaning for you on a personal and cultural level. Using one culture's rite of passage, style, etc. as your personal excuse to others on why you want to do something is just another form of cultural appropriation. On top of that, it's just the same as using the "but everyone else is doing it" excuse. Think carefully of exactly why you want to do something and be honest with yourself instead of looking for reasons to justify your actions on the internet. If you want to do something because you think it's cool or you like the look, that's fine and dandy... but don't go throwing in unrelated reasons to appease others.

That being said, as one who does have fairly noticeable piercings (when I want them to be seen) and decent/reputable job in a field that looks down upon most nonconformist activities (yay having a background in finance and economics), really think carefully on what you're doing, why you're doing it, where you want to go in life, and how you see yourself in the future.

A little backstory: Among many of my piercings, my septum ring is the most prominent. Out of all my broad spectrum of young antics, body suspensions are probably my most 'out there' and dangerous. I got everything done(starting when I was about your age) by professionals who I had gone out of my way to talk to one on one about the processes and dangers long before deciding. And before getting anything done, I reflected a lot on how I saw my life both in the present and future. I didn't want to work as a tattoo artist or in a field where body modifications were very popular. I also wasn't okay with just 'settling' at a job because I knew others wouldn't accept my looks. At 18, I was preparing to put myself through college on my own, dreamed of wearing a suit and semi-sensible shoes to work, and was adamant about one day working my way to the top of the wonderful world of international finance as my career goal. How do piercings, tattoos, and other forms of body modifications that I wanted at the time fit into that? In most people's minds, they don't.

I'm really digressing from the point I was trying to make here. But it's really a give and take system. You may want to do something, but you better be darn willing to face the consequences, especially if you do something that is highly noticeable or can have a negative lasting effect. Yes, I have gauged ears (although nowhere near as large as you want), I have a septum ring, I have done numerous suspensions hanging on parts of my body that would make most people queasy, and more. And my reasoning - because *I* think they're pleasing and aesthetically beautiful for me on a personal level. No other major reasons that need to be shared with others. No frills. No excuses. No citing unrelated cultural purposes to please others when they scoff or ask patronizing questions. Because I like me and am proud of what I have done and how I look. But at the same time I also accept that what I like or how I view my body is not ideal to the vast majority, and because of that I respectfully refrain from showing certain things or doing certain activities around business colleagues, family members, and superiors unless specifically asked or prompted to bring up the topic. But I also don't seek their approval because I waited until I was mature enough to handle the outcomes in a manner that I could be proud of.

What I'm saying is that you may want to do things in your life that others may not approve of, and many times they will have extremely valid reasons. But you really need to look inside yourself for why you want to do them and how they will effect what you want out of the hopefully many years ahead of you. If you're thinking about doing something permanent to your body, make sure that it's something you truly want to live with. And if it is, how will you handle it in whatever path you choose when you become a self-supporting, more mature adult. If one of your first blockades is "how will I explain this to my parents? Let me try to throw in some outside cultural info on what other people did", then maybe you're not ready and/or it's not something that you should be doing at all.

Just because other people do it, doesn't mean that it's for you... especially if you're at the point of looking to netizens to find excuses to get your mommy's permission and acceptance on why you want something. Depending on what you want out of your life make sure that whatever you do to your body you can hide it effectively to not cause lasting damage to your reputation, and that if you do have it and something goes wrong you are truly willing to live with the mental, emotional, and physical consequences for a long, long..... long time.
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