How can i talk my parents into letting me stretch my ears?

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Friday October 17th, 2008 @ 11:17 PM

Filed under: Piercing

my mom is passionate about me not getting my ear(s) gauged she says oh its fine if you wanna get it pierced but youre not gauging it fuck that when youre 18 you can do whatever but not while youre in my home….what can i do?

Respect your parent’s wishes?
Be thankful that they’re trying to meet you half-way?
Get emancipated, move out, pay rent and bills and make your own decisions?

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100 Responses to “How can i talk my parents into letting me stretch my ears?”

  1. Though that’s fairly sensible, the kid’s clearly not going to like that response.

    My parents hated it. They still do. But I continued to do it despite them hating it. That makes me sound like a total brat, but it was never about trying to piss of my parents. Things got worse and worse until my Mum was throwing around “take them out or move-out” ultimatums. Then I think she realized how melodramatic the whole thing was.

    I mean, when I got my septum she said she could never look at me again, now she never mentions it.

    I just continually talked to them about why it was important to me and showed them articles on BME about why this is a major part of so many people’s lives. When things heated up, their arguments got irrational, while I pointed out my Mum’s cartilage piercing and how a year back she wanted a nostril. Or my dad’s long hair which his mother hated when he was my age.

    Over time I think they just got defeated. They just accept it kind of begrudgingly.

    So I guess I’d say talk to your mum a lot. If she won’t talk about it and even try to understand, consider doing it and dealing with the consequences.

    Craig on October 18th, 2008 at 12:01 am
  2. I’m happy I didn’t have to deal with that with my mom. I mean, when I first started to stretch my lobes, she was okay with it (I was at a 2g by then) and once I went to 00g and up she’s just not so thrilled with it, ha.

    But hey, I was 14 when I started and I’m now 18, not much she can do I guess.

    KittyDemon on October 18th, 2008 at 12:36 am
  3. I know the wait seems unbearable. The months that crawled down to my 18th birthday was agonizing. But I knew my parents wanted me to wait until I was 18 to get anything done, because by then it was my legal right to do whatever the heck I wanted with my body. I hated it. I wanted to find every way around it. But I didn’t, because I decided personally it wasn’t worth it to go through all the pain that being impatient would cause.

    2 years after my 18th birthday my parents still hate my mods. The day I came home with my jewelery in my septum piercing, my father wouldn’t look at me, and didn’t for several months. Some parents don’t really understand. I tried to explain, but it never really got through to them. Your mom has already said when you’re 18, it’s your choice. That’s just how it is.

    Get your lobes pierced because she offered. Wear some cool jewelery in them now. I know it seems unfair. I know it seems like a few years is forever, but honestly, it’s not. You should try and help your mom understand what stretching means to you. Why you want to do it. Show her BME articles. Talk openly with her. But if she doesn’t understand, take some time to think about why she doesn’t want you to, and why waiting might be important.

    sixums on October 18th, 2008 at 11:16 am
  4. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the use of “gauged” and “gauging.” OP, it’s stretching. The gauges are the size that you are stretched to. Gauge is a verb, but not in the way your using it.

    Sorry. When I was 16, I started stretching my ears. I started really slowly (I had gotten them pierced with a gun when I was younger, stupid I know) by using other body jewelry. Like, 16g CBB, 14g curved barbell, and so on. My mom didn’t notice until I started buying plugs (which was at about 8g). If you don’t already have your ears pierced, go do that. They’ll probably pierce you at 16g or 14g, so you’re closer then I was. You’ll have to wait a long time after you pierce them to even start stretching anyway, so it could even be a non-issue by then.

    If you really really can’t wait, or you feel like freaking your parents out, you could try getting “fake” plugs. Basically they’re regular earrings, but either end looks like a plug. They have tapers as well.

    Those are just an example.

    Kim on October 18th, 2008 at 11:35 am
  5. maybe i’m a snob, but those fake plugs and tapers PISS ME OFF so badly.

    fireship on October 18th, 2008 at 6:13 pm
  6. “gauges” or “gauging”… are a losing battle already.

    Clara on October 18th, 2008 at 8:01 pm
  7. fireship.. any tapers left in an ear any longer than needed to stretch pisses me off…yet they still remain oh so common.

    allie on October 18th, 2008 at 8:42 pm
  8. I’m an anti-mod elitist, and I say that anyone who doesn’t know how to describe stretching shouldn’t be allowed to take part in it.

    Coffee on October 18th, 2008 at 10:54 pm
  9. Chalk me up as another person that hates the term “gauging”.

    I pretty much hate those fake plugs and tapers too. Tapers aren’t jewellery, so why make fake ones for scene kids to wear as jewellery? *siiigh* I’ve also heard of people fucking up their ears real bad with those fake plugs and tapers. Cheesecutter effect, anyone?

    Dimruthien on October 18th, 2008 at 11:23 pm
  10. I’m 23. I’ve finished college (AA and BA degrees, what what?) and I have to live at home with my insanely strict parents until I can support myself enough to move out. I have 3 piercings; 5/8ths lobes and a 12ga septum. My parents/family have NO idea about any of my modifications.

    I rarely wear septum jewelry because I had previously stretched it to 6ga, and even so, septum piercings are incredibly easy to hide. I wear 0ga plugs in my lobes during the day in front of my family and 5/8th plugs at night, and when I go out. Why 0ga plugs? Two reasons. One, 0g is roughly half of 5/8ths, and when I take out my 5/8ths jewelry the hole in my lobe is 0g-sized. Two, 0g was as far as I got openly stretching my lobes before my little brothers ratted me out to my parents back in 2005. They FREAKED OUT, called my character and intelligence into question, and told me that I would end up “married to some tattooed biker guy in a trailer park”.

    It’s easier for me to hide my mods and play by my parents rules in their home than to deal with the verbal and emotional abuse, so I do exactly that.

    Regardless of how many intelligent conversations I’ve had with my parents regarding body modification, it’s purpose, aesthetic issues, etc…and how hard I’ve tried to hide mine to maintain their respect…they still take every opportunity they can to tell me how “ugly” they think body modification is. Tattooed athletes on TV? Ugly. Visibly pierced retail salesperson? Ugly. They still hold onto their old-school stereotypes of pierced/tattooed individuals being the “scum of society”. They also think that just because a personal is modified, I’ll find them attractive because I’m “in to that sort of thing”. SWEEPING generalizations. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes you just can’t win with logic.

    When I’m fully self-supporting and I move out of here (FOREVER) I can be myself all the time. I can wear the jewelry I want to wear and I can finally get the chestpiece I’ve been dreaming about. But until then, I gotta suck it up and deal just to keep the peace at home.

    caitlinG on October 19th, 2008 at 2:47 am
  11. and “minimum of 14ga jewelry for lobes” is also a losing battle. nobody… NOBODY understands cheesecutter effect. they think that just because it’s 1.6mm that the hole will be effin huge… and mind you… fake plugs and tapers are 16ga with external threading…

    and yes. if you can’t say “stretching” instead of “gauging”, you shouldn’t be allowed to stuff tapers through your lobes.

    Clara on October 19th, 2008 at 6:04 am
  12. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with the whole “stretching” vs. “gauging” thing. On the one hand, as long as they can successfully take care of their piercings, and know what the heck they’re doing, how they express it (theoretically) doesn’t matter.

    On the other hand, most people I’ve met who use gauge as a verb do not. Anyone who uses that term automatically comes off as ignorant and stupid. That’s why if you go into the dorm of my university you can usually hear me screaming “You gauge the size of something and THEN you stretch to it!” at freshman girls.

    sixums on October 19th, 2008 at 11:36 am
  13. I contacted a linguist yesterday and she said that gauging is technically correct.

    Just so you know.

    Shawn Porter on October 19th, 2008 at 12:22 pm
  14. Oo, do elaborate shawn.

    fireship on October 19th, 2008 at 1:21 pm
  15. Please. I asked one of my professors about it the other day, and she didn’t give me a clear answer. I’d be interested to know what this person said.

    sixums on October 19th, 2008 at 1:35 pm
  16. I’ll send her a message tonight.

    Shawn Porter on October 19th, 2008 at 5:29 pm
  17. While she gauges I’m gonna ounce my beer then mile. C’ya.

    HereKittyKitty on October 19th, 2008 at 6:55 pm
  18. gauging is in fact a term; but it doesn’t involve stretching or achieving, or any other word which could be used to describe the active process of increasing the size of the fistula of a piercing for the purpose of inserting larger jewellery without rupturing the fistula surface… It means to accurately measure a property of an object, or refers to a system of set measurements, or an instrument which measures or displays measurements.

    So it’s not incorrect in general, just in its’ usage in the situation in question.

    Coffee on October 19th, 2008 at 7:50 pm
  19. Strange. When I type verb gauge into google, the definition is: “The verb gauge (pronounced GAIJ) means to take measurements, or to estimate.
    Oh well. I’m sure it will one day also mean to stretch ones ears.

    I too hate the fake plugs. But, if she really really wants to stretch, and she is going to respect her parent’s wishes (which I hope you do, while you live at home), then this might be an ok alternative. I’d rather her look like a scene kid then try to stuff things into her lobes before her parents find out. It might even get them used to the idea. She’s probably already wearing 18g or 16g earrings anyway (which doesn’t mean it’s right, I know).

    Like I said, this is pretty much a non-issue anyway because she doesn’t even have her ears pierced yet!

    And if you are 18, well, you are too immature. People disrespecting their parents while living under their roof, eat their food, and enjoy they’re TV, and internet really bug me. The fact that you can’t wait a few years is also telling. You’re going to be one of those people who jumps sizes and stretches before your lobes are ready. I hope you like scarring…

    Kim on October 19th, 2008 at 7:56 pm
  20. “Why it’s okay to say “gauging/gauge”.

    1. English supports part-of-speech shifts from noun to verb and vice versa. You use words that are in multiple categories all the time without being conscious of that fact. There is little in terms of word formation that English DOESN’T allow (borrowing, coining, compounding, etc.)

    “Back Formation”
    Back formation is when a normal derivation process is reversed. From the verb destroy the noun destruction is formed, by suffixation of -ion and changes to the verb root. But how about self-destruct? Destruct is not a word in English…so self-destruct, which came into the language very recently, couldn’t have have come about by compounding self with destruct.

    The answer is that self-destruct came into the language through back formation. The normal direction of the derivation by the suffix -ion involves forming a noun from a verb by attaching the suffix -ion (as in rebel/rebellion).
    (English Vocabulary Elements - Keith Denning page 37)

    http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Back-formation

    2. Language is not static. It is constantly changing to incorporate new words and their meanings. If language never changed, you would be speaking a Germanic language that barely resembles English… and countless lexicographers would be unemployed.

    3. The jargon associated with body modification has not been codified yet. As such, there is NO standard for right and wrong (that implies that right and wrong exist in language…see point 4 for clarification).

    4. Think of language not in terms of prescriptivism (prescribing what you SHOULD say), but in terms of descriptivism - what actually gets said. I’m sure that at some point or other, every person commenting on this thread has used phrases like, “I seen” or “Me and Bill”. (Weren’t you annoyed when your grammar teacher told you that what you said was wrong?) These phrases are considered incorrect in Standard English as well, but they still convey their intended purpose. That is, you understand what’s being said. The same could be said for “gauging.” You understand that when someone talks about gauging their ears, they are saying that they’ve stretched them. So why all the fuss? Sociolinguistically speaking, you are intentionally creating an in group, a little insular community that rejects outsiders. This is not the first time that language has been used to show superiority, and it won’t be the last…”

    Shawn Porter on October 19th, 2008 at 8:48 pm
  21. Not only is she my resident linguist, but she’s also hot.

    Shawn Porter on October 19th, 2008 at 8:49 pm
  22. Why do you waste time answering such puerile questions when there is people waiting with more down to earth and solvable problems ( like the question I sent in 2 weeks ago?)

    manu on October 19th, 2008 at 10:58 pm
  23. But enough about you, let’s talk about you for a second.

    Shawn Porter on October 19th, 2008 at 11:00 pm
  24. It’s not a coincidence that people who use the term gauge to describe stretching their piercings, are often the ones who do it badly, skip sizes, wear bad jewellery, and otherwise don’t understand what they’re doing or the consequences.

    And that is a part of the backlash against the use of the term.

    Coffee on October 20th, 2008 at 12:27 pm
  25. What Coffee said ^^^

    HereKittyKitty on October 20th, 2008 at 4:11 pm
  26. Eh, I have a friend who stretched his ear lobes (bottom ones) from a 2g - 1/2″ in a month as well as his second holes from a 10g to a 0g. I lend him my tapers and plugs and told him to go slow, I didn’t see him for two weeks and when I saw him again his bottom lobes were 1/2″ and his second lobe holes were 0g. I was like, “What the fuck?!” Surprisingly, he had no blow outs (from what I saw) and it’s been almost a year now and they still have no issues. I guess some people are lucky. It took me 4 years to go up to 1/2″ and I started at just a 14g. It’s lame. But other than that…

    Just go slow! Be patient! It’s worth doing it the right way thne doing it fast and skipping sizes and having a horrible blow out.

    Kitty Demon on October 20th, 2008 at 4:29 pm
  27. Re: #20

    Shawn, for all the reasons you listed via your linguist (who gets my thanks, by the way), I agree with you. And that’s why I said I felt torn. The Linguistics student in me tells me that this term is perfectly acceptable, like the verb to google.

    On the other hand, my other point remains. I think a lot of people in the body modification community see the younger generations who use the term “gauging” as inexperienced, gullible, and unwilling to learn how to properly how to take care of their mods. They correct these in the hopes of teaching them something that will inevitably lead to them doing things that are Not Stupid.

    At least, that’s why I do it. I agree that looking at it, it’s probably not the best way to go about it. D’oh.

    sixums on October 20th, 2008 at 4:30 pm
  28. I asked a question about the proper way to D.I.Y ear strech at larger gagues and got yelled at to use the serch function (which I did and fount absolutly no helpful information), and people ask the same questions 100 times and get reasonable answers?

    Jay on October 20th, 2008 at 4:32 pm
  29. Fount = found. no idea how I messed that one up.

    Jay on October 20th, 2008 at 4:33 pm
  30. Be lucky you were able to get your ears pierced i couldn’t do that until a month before i was 18 i say wait you grow some patience with age, my first year i went from 8ga-7/16th, This year i’ve gone from 7/16- 1/2, back down to 7/16 so they thicken. i rushed the first year, i have no blowouts, but stretching isn’ just about not getting blow outs it’s about having ear tissue left, i have a somewhat thin lobe on one side and a hard scar formation)(from a tear) on top that i’m either gonna have hinder my stretching constantly or have to get cut out which will cost me like $100-150, which i could spend on much better things, like jewelry for my nice healthy 5/8ths lobes that i’m gonna have in the next 6 months.

    Lucas Reichennek on October 20th, 2008 at 8:40 pm
  31. I answer the questions I feel like answering, plain and simple. the other VOLUNTEERS of ASK BME do the same. We do this on our own time. Sometimes I ignore questions because I’m not qualified to answer them. Other times because I don’t feel like answering them. And less frequently but no less valid- sometimes I see it’s from an unappreciative whiner and pass right by it.

    Everyone thinks that their question is important. I wouldn’t disagree. But your question is no more or less important than any other question.

    Shawn Porter on October 20th, 2008 at 9:22 pm
  32. I <3 Shawn Porter.

    Auflodern on October 20th, 2008 at 11:18 pm
  33. First, I would like to say Shawn’s response to question was great. I wanted to stretch my lobes when I was sweet 16, but I waited until I was 26 because I was an impoverished university student with greater financial concerns, like food and a place to sleep. It has made it much sweeter experience to have done as an adult rather than a desperately impulsive teenager.

    I also agree with the linguist’s argument, but I disagree with it’s application to the current problem. The fault is in point four. “I’m gauging my ears” only communicates it’s intended meaning to a very select group. The people on this forum understand it as “stretching”, but most of the English speaking world will understand it in the sense that they are “measuring” their ears. In contrast, “I’m stretching my ears” would be understand by a much larger group of people, and “I’m stretching my earlobe piercings” would be almost universally understood.

    Therefore, it is not elitist to object to the misuse of the term, the objectors are in the majority. The people who do misuse the term are the minority and probably have the same feelings towards the people slapping them down for using it as they have for the parents who tell them to wait until they are old enough to make an informed decision. The author of the question clearly has the internet and reads BME, so really he/she has no excuses. Chances are they know it is wrong, but say it anyway. They probably also know that they need to be patient between stretches, but will take the same attitude to that as well.

    Language is dynamic, but there needs to be limits. If your doctor told the heart surgeon you needed a ‘traffic diversion in the business district’ rather than a ‘coronary bypass’, you die on the table while the surgeon goes downtown with a whistle and a flag. They will have a giggle about it later, but you would be finding it a little less easy to appreciate the doctor’s cute choice of terminology.

    Body modification doesn’t have a codified set of terms, but we already have an appropriate and universally understood verb to describe the process. Misusing “gauge” is just disrespectful. I’m willing to bet 10 monopoly dollars that a year from now the question’s author has some pissed off lobes and some pissed off parents.

    Kong on October 20th, 2008 at 11:31 pm
  34. I know it seems frustrating - I submitted a rather obscure question three months ago knowing full well it will probably never be answered, yet every twit with a labret seems to get personal advice about their aftercare and jewelry needs. The staff are only human, and only comfortable answering questions they have experience with - so it’s only natural the banal will get the bulk of the answers. This is something for nothing, guys… biting the hand that feeds you and all that.

    Oh and Shawn, thanks for finally giving a nice, tight, succinct response to all the elitists who think because they read BME they’re instantly above people who only get their terminology from their friends and the folks that work on them. People *do* research things responsibly without using the internet, you’re not superior because you got your information online. That and Americans tend to forget all too often just how different their ever evolving language is from true English as it is.

    Guys, every time you find yourself wincing at someone talking about gauging their ears, just remind yourself what an elitist wanker you’re being and pretty soon it won’t bother you any more. Unless you can’t get past being an elitist wanker… but I can’t really help there.

    redeye on October 21st, 2008 at 6:05 pm
  35. I mainly dislike the term ‘gauging’ because only Americans refer to jewelry sizes in ‘gauges’. Get with the metric system like the rest of the world :p Also it sounds ridiculous and there is already a perfectly good ‘universal’ word for it - STRETCHING. OMG I’m obviously SO elitist because I use a word that MORE people understand O_o wtf?

    almaxaquotal on October 22nd, 2008 at 6:13 pm
  36. Good to dislike something because it’s American.

    HereKittyKitty on October 22nd, 2008 at 7:34 pm
  37. I still hear trendy little mod-groupies- people who would CRINGE upon hearing the word “gauging” use the word LABREY.
    Just saying.

    Shawn Porter on October 22nd, 2008 at 7:54 pm
  38. Some random guy said, “Double zero is more hardcore than half inch.”
    It made me laugh. Hardcore. Haha! Yeah well, whatever floats his boat.

    Kitty Demon on October 22nd, 2008 at 8:54 pm
  39. Double Zero is also known as ought-ought, or Double ought.

    Lucas Reichennek on October 22nd, 2008 at 9:07 pm
  40. Almaxaquotal, you’re right, you’re not elitist because you use the more common term - you’re elitist because you let it get to you when others use a different one.

    The gauge system is about as universal as it gets, it’s the historical standard unit in contemporary piercing, and still the standard measurement for needle sizes globally. Much of Europe measures jewelry in metric, admittedly, but only in equivalent sizes - the gauge system is still the standard for needles everywhere. There’s 40+ years history and countless millions of people pierced at gauged sizes… which are more suited to incremental changes than metric anyway. For the record, I’m not an American, but I see no possibility or purpose in fighting the status quo on this one; when I figure I need a 26g needle, 0.45mm diameter is not my first thought…

    Why is it that all these commentators come out of the woodwork only when there’s something petty to whine about? Ergh… sorry, just answered my own question.

    redeye on October 23rd, 2008 at 3:26 am
  41. Ahh because the gauge system is the ‘historical standard’, it MUST be right!! If it is so standard then why are different makes of 00 plugs never the same size?! Is it 9mm, 9.5mm, 10mm?! It is certainly not the most accurate measure and neither are fractions of inches when the decimal system makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE. Hrm….. anyway apart from that, like I said, I use the term most people would understand, because ‘gauge’ as a verb means something completely different, and I’M SUCH AN ELITIST that most of my friends/colleagues don’t know much about body modification and its made-up terminology which makes no actual grammatical sense despite what the ‘hot linguist’ had to say on the subject. Like “I’m going to get my medusa pierced”, like your ‘medusa’ is actually part of the human anatomy. Ahh there I go, being elitist again!!!!!!

    almaxaquotal on October 25th, 2008 at 7:40 pm
  42. … I’m in love with what she said. ^^

    Kitty Demon on October 25th, 2008 at 7:56 pm
  43. With countless millions of piercings already in place, and with most jewelry manufacturers and every needle manufacturer in the world using the older units, how do you propose to change the status quo? Metric standardization would be wonderful, but how can we hope for that if the US still clings to imperial for virtually every unit?

    If “gauging” and “piercing my medusa/labret/PA/whatever” really bother you so much, you’d better just learn to chill, because getting worked up at strangers over it on the interwebs ain’t gonna change squat, hon.

    redeye on October 26th, 2008 at 4:06 am
  44. You don’t get your medusa pierced you get a medusa piercing. it’s simple There are two types of piercing names, anatomical and given/commonly used names.

    Lucas Reichennek on October 27th, 2008 at 8:39 pm
  45. I did’t ask i just got plugs and tapers at a store near my school with my money at the end of the 8th grade i had a zero.
    my mom was ok with it(in the long run). Now I’m a sophmore with 3/4″.

    No one I know at my school are into the whole stretched look though, the biggest size I really see is zero. My ears naturally look really good with large gauge stretched lobes.
    I have to say though that you need to think about people always asking if they can put their finger in your “hole”, it gets old and annoying pretty fast. Do I Look Like A Petting Zoo… or people with negative reactions. “OMG thats gross, does that hurt?” lol it’s almost identical everytime.
    I think that stretching your ears should be taken very serious because they dont exactly go back to “Normal”.

    Make good choices, its easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    i’m that kid with self pierced toung web ladder(sshhh), the “ears”, and the surface anchors on my sternum. just a little to ahead of my time, in my eyes my modifications are like make-up is for other people.

    some things you probally wont be able to do until you turn 18 anyways. i want my tounge bifurcated or split one day by an oral surgon. i think thats its extreamly attractive and have been thinking about for about six years now.. lol just the best thing ever…

    Cassidy on November 3rd, 2008 at 9:21 pm
  46. How old is the OP?

    Has anyone pointed out yet that assuming s/he starts from a 16ga earring hole, stretching nice and slow it would take them at least a couple years to get up to anything most non-modded people would consider “stretched” anyway?

    Just quietly carry on stretching. It doesn’t hurt anyone else what you do with your ears and if they don’t know they can’t get upset.

    kristin on November 3rd, 2008 at 10:24 pm
  47. I think most kids living with their parents have this same issue. I know I did atleast. First of all, I had to beg for what seemed like forever just to get my ear pierced. Then when I began stretching my parents obviously noticed and were pissed. They just said it was fine as long as I don’t go any bigger (this was at 10g lol). I’m now 18 still with my parents and at 7/16g. Everytime I stretched I just told them it was the same size as the last or the jewelry made it look bigger… it works for a couple stretches hehe. I think the only advice is to just wait until you’re out of your house or do it anyway and test the consequences.

    kenneth alan on November 7th, 2008 at 11:05 am
  48. When I was 14 I idiotically shoved some tapers through my 16 gauge lobe piercings. My mom cornered me in the bathroom and ripped the 2 gauge tapers from my ears. I thank her now, not for her prediction that I wouldn’t want “gross” stretched earlobes, but because she saved me from my uninformed self and let my ears heal before too much damage was done. I’m now at a slowly achieved and happy 1/2″, 6 years later. Patience is a virtue, and not everything has to be done RIGHT NOW. Parents don’t necessarily understand or condone everything that you feel is right or good, but they take care of you as best as they can. Although late, my advice is to chill and do it when you have complete control and knowledge. Let your parents have control now, because in a few years you CAN be yourself and they WILL be on the sidelines.

    Finally, in response to the “gauging/stretching” thing here, I’m from northern California. We say “hella” and “like” in every sentence, and “gauge”, “gauging”, “gauges” are terms I have heard for as long as I’ve known about stretching piercings. I know the group I’m around and what they’ll understand. There’s no reason to be picky. I say “That’s, like, hella cool!” but I would never write that in an academic paper. The only time I attack grammar or proper word usage is when I’m editing. BTW, noticed a few of you while arguing the point against the “wrong” term used the wrong “you’re/your”. Nobody’s perfect, I think we ought to keep that in mind and be a little less judgmental. Someone said, “…see the younger generations who use the term “gauging” as inexperienced, gullible, and unwilling to learn how to properly how to take care of their mods…” A mere term like “gauging” is not indicative of a lack of knowledge or experience, much like my use of local slang is not indicative of any inability to understand or utilize proper English when necessary. Older generations will always find fault with the ways of the younger generation. Best of luck to the kid trying to start on his/her lobes. Be patient and use whatever fucking term you want to.

    thatonechic on November 11th, 2008 at 12:08 am
  49. it took me like half an hour to read all of that…

    most people made very valid points for many of the arguments above.

    heres my two cents; if you live at home and your parents dont like it (like mine) you have two choices. 1. dont do what they dont like cause they pay for the roof over your head or 2. do it anyway and accept the consequences.

    and as far as this fight over streching vs. guaging.

    seriously people?

    anyone who has been in the community will, yes, know that you strech your ears to a certain guage, but who the hell cares?

    its attitudes like this that keep new people out of piercing and tattoo parlors because they are picked on and treated as inferior because they dont know how the use the terminology to your elitist satisfaction. instead they continue to be misinformed about all kinds of things like saftey and can eventualy hurt themselves trying something as simple as streaching thier ears becasue you couldnt be nice enough to help them instead of riducule their misinformation.

    its not the english that bothers me here, its this closed community attitude that people take. people involved in any part of the modification community should be open and happy to help and inform. thats what askBME is doing here.

    people will stop treating people with mods differently the day we stop treating those without differently.

    RachelStevens on November 25th, 2008 at 4:35 am
  50. I didn’t read all the comments, but I think some good advice for the OP - and anyone young wanting to stretch their ears - would be to get completely educated on the subject of ear stretching.

    Research the history, how it has evolved to today, where it is done around the world, etc. Research the care, commitment, and “lifestyle” that comes with ear stretching. Gather some pictures of various sized ears and types of jewelry. Print out all this information and sit down with your parents.

    Tell them that you want to talk to them about ear stretching because it is important to you. Explain to them (and show them) all the time, effort, and research you have put into this. Explain to them that you are aware of the risks, and any negativity that you may encounter.

    After you present all this information to them, if they STILL refuse to allow you to do this, see if they will meet you half way by allowing you to stretch to xx gauge only. Show them pictures of what various sized gauges look like and ask them which size would be acceptable.

    Ask them about their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Talk to them as an adult, don’t yell or get frustrated with their possible ignorance. Show respect and you should get it in return. Hopefully your parents will admire the hard work and research you have put into this decision, and will support you even if they don’t agree.

    Best of luck :)

    G on December 7th, 2008 at 12:21 am
  51. it’s almost illogical in these comments to see people being so judgmental of terms people use when the whole purpose of this site is people doing what they want and being who they want. ironic.

    me. on December 30th, 2008 at 9:26 pm
  52. You also have to remember that if you get your lobe pierced, you have to wait 6 months before you can stretch it anyway, which is half a year.
    So even if she said yeah, go for it, you’d still have to wait.

    Lauren on December 31st, 2008 at 2:58 pm
  53. I am a parent trying to find out WHY this is important to some teenagers. What does it represent? Why does my daughter want to do this? Don’t kids know that this visual rebellion of sorts may cause issues later in life? It’s fun now — cool, and understandable at this time, while in high school. But, it’s a permanent thing and this bothers me. What if she changes her mind later, and doesn’t like the look? How can she get a professional position after she grows up, with huge spacers in her ears? I am having trouble dealing with this, and am unsure how to proceed. Do I allow it? Do I forbid it? The rule was, regarding additional piercings or tattooing, after she was out of the house or 18 (which ever is later) — but she just came home with the first step of stretching her lobes. Her boyfriend has his stretched to 1-1/4″. Any advice would be appreciated.

    karen on January 2nd, 2009 at 3:34 pm
  54. Hi Karen,
    In some ways, She will most likely do whatever she fancies as teenagers always do. And yeah, she might regret it later in life but I am sure there must be things in your own life you regret. At least unlike many parents I know you are trying to understand why she wants this and the ramifications of her actions. I have my ear strenched and to be honest most people don’t notice. And as to the why, it can be a number of reasons, personally I am trying to achieve the apparance I want in my head - like a more extreme and much longer lasting version of a new haircut and losing weight. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is refreshing to see a parent trying to see things from the other side. Good Luck!

    V Girl on January 2nd, 2009 at 10:10 pm


    DSFARGEG on January 29th, 2009 at 7:30 am
  56. To thatonechic (and everyone else) - I am also from Northern California. I say “hella” and use the correct form of your/you’re. My ears have been stretched to 1/2″ and I plan on going bigger over time. I don’t care what people call it - I’m sure the Mursi people of Africa or the ancient Thai people couldn’t care less if we called it “gauging”, “stretching” or anything else for that matter. The main reason I’m posting a response, however, is to let you know that chic is pronounced “sheek”. Just.. on the topic of grammar. Heh.

    primalinstincts on February 3rd, 2009 at 7:29 pm
  57. Well, just monday I stretched my ears to a 16. then tonight, i have size 12 tapers not even half way in yet… my dad is out of town, and i told my step mom.. TRUSTING HER.. she went off and told my dad… to be brootaly honest, what a bitch.
    anyway, he told me its dis respectful? and that i should move out. ha. i told him i would, because i will continue on gauging my ears. AND IM 18. so i am “considered” an adult now. i’m not some child going crazy. gauging your ears is NOT rebelious. i just enjoy the way it looks. pops. deal with it.

    Melissa on March 4th, 2009 at 11:50 pm
  58. Melissa, I’d be a “brootal” bitch to my daughter if she were ripping her ears up as fast as you are, too. Slowly, slowly, catch the monkey, y’know?

    If you’re 18 and know everything and still mooching off your folks and don’t like them telling you how to live your life, hey, MOVE OUT. If you’re ok with letting them pay your bills, you don’t get a whole lot of say in them telling you what to do, that’s how it works.

    Lori St.Leone on March 5th, 2009 at 3:29 am
  59. Hahahhahahaahahahahhahaha. “Brootal”.
    Kids these days. X]

    foxdie on March 5th, 2009 at 12:07 pm
  60. um just wait, time will go by fast. relax

    Julzzzzz on March 14th, 2009 at 6:12 pm
  61. First off.. If you know what someone else is talking about, there’s no need to grammatically correct them. It’s also pretty rude.
    Second off.. I also hate fake plugs.
    Third off.. Karen, the strecthing process is not always permanent, especially on ear lobes. As we all know, surgery is becomming more and more advanced as is technology. Having your ears, lip, nose stichted up or skin-grafted, is a way to “fix” these stretched piercings that CAN be achieved today, thus making it not so permanent. I’m not saying you’re entirely wrong, I’m jus saying that, if your daughter were to change her mind later in life when she comes across a predicament in which she would need her stretched piercings removed, she could always jus get them sewn up. This is 100% do-able, and is one of the main reasons my parents allowed me to stretch my ears.
    I hope this helped.

    zaquertisss on March 19th, 2009 at 11:10 pm
  62. V Girl and zaquertisss — thank you so much for your responses. It took a few days of silence on the matter and then we talked. I asked her to trust me on this…if she still wants to do it later, that would be her choice and I would totally respect her decision. Thankfully, she took the spacers out for now. It’s just so scary doing anything permanent — for me anyway. :) But, I’m a MOM, and back when I was a teenager, this was not done. This is so different for us parents and I guess we need time to accept it. That is good news that it can be sewn up. As I mentioned, her boyfriend has LARGE spacers and I worry about this look for his future. You both are the greatest for writing and I feel better about the whole thing. If she wants to do it later, I will support her. Thank you, both.

    karen on March 22nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm
  63. Well, the way I got my rents to agree with it was I didn’t. They’re my ears and I can do wat I want to them. And besides, they’re not the one dealing with the pain of it and the permanancy. I told my rents that if they didn’t like it then they didn’t have to look.

    mckynlie on May 9th, 2009 at 11:02 pm
  64. While I understand how frustrating the wait is, I basically agree with no.10; if you are living under your parents roof and they are supporting you I do think it is right to respect their wishes. On the upside, they’ll have plenty of time to get used to the idea! I’m now 21, have moved out of my dad’s house and got ‘you’re an adult and it’s your face’ from him when I mentioned I was planning a madonna piercing a few weeks ago, which I got pierced last week.
    Also, I know everybody’s experience is different but I stretched one lobe when I was about 16 and did it far too quickly because I knew I’d be made to take it out. That lobe has never quite gone back to how it was before so earrings and such are wonky now and look stupid. I’ve also since changed my mind about wanting stretched lobes - hence not stretching it again - so I suppose my point is that it can be an irreversible mod that you may well change your mind about so think really long and hard about it first.

    Lil on May 13th, 2009 at 6:53 pm
  65. just get your lobes pierced normally and wear the earrings you can get that look like plugs but aren’t. then i guess your mum can get used to it without it actually being real yet.

    Laura on June 27th, 2009 at 12:12 pm
  66. I think that if your parents have a real problem with it, you should just respect their wishes. They let you live in their house without paying rent. Show some respect. I personally dont think that children under 18 need to have mods at all, most of them are not mature enough to have them.

    Ada on September 4th, 2009 at 7:46 pm
  67. Its stretched not “gauged”!

    Jessicka on September 10th, 2009 at 10:41 pm
  68. All I have to say about this(terminology) is I went to Seaworld a month ago with freshly cut 1 1/8 lobes, and the teenager who checked my ticket said “How big are those gauges? 00s?”.
    That same day, a younger kid with piercings sat next to me on the train and was like “holy shit your lobes are huge, what are they 00s?” I told him no, that my ears are 1 1/8 and 00s are smaller than half an inch. A lot of people think that there is a limit lobe stretching, that “00″ is the largest you can go, no matter what. I told him that every body has their own limits and I really hope he didn’t rush home to start stretching his ears with pens and straws and shit.
    Goes to show that most people just don’t give a shit, and you can either just deal with it or you can separate yourself from those kinds of people.

    Angie on September 27th, 2009 at 11:41 pm
  69. woop woooo i was #69 ^^
    heehee ^_^

    munsternat on September 30th, 2009 at 9:24 am
  70. Unless your parents are cool, they’ll say no forever!

    Melissa on December 23rd, 2009 at 7:10 pm
  71. …When I was stretching my ears, I would keep telling my mom “no, you know, it’s not bigger!” I also wore more ornate jewelry that she liked, as opposed to plain tunnels/eyelets/what have you. Now that I’m at 9/16″ and my mom and my relationship has definitely improved, she really likes the glass plugs I wear.

    So to a certain degree, you can get away with it, especially if you don’t wear eyelets. However, I am personally not inclined to tell you to follow in the footsteps of my cloves-smoking, eyeliner-covered 14-year-old self.

    Worst case scenario? Wait until college. Stretched ears are far from the worst thing you could go home for thanksgiving with. :P

    Micala on January 26th, 2010 at 6:30 pm
  72. I wouldn’t do anything that permanet to my body..

    Farrah on February 12th, 2010 at 12:36 am
  73. If your ears aren’t pierced yet and she’s willing to have them pierced, why not just got to a tattoo shop and having them pierced with an 8g or so needle? That size isn’t that large and you can wear regular earrings if she really wants you to. You can also get plugs and such that don’t look too bad at that size. You can even get eyelets or tunnels so you can see through your ear.

    Alice on February 22nd, 2010 at 5:46 pm
  74. Honestly, I did it, my parents would get mad every time i went bigger, and eventually they got over it. I’m 18 now and at 7/8″ (and still going bigger) and every time my mom looks at new jewelry she just says “ew” at first then reluctantly will say she likes the stone or wood or whatever. They will realize that they are being melodramatic as long as you’re willing to pay for your own reversal surgery!

    Chloe on March 17th, 2010 at 12:15 am
  75. I have been reading the above posts with some interest. I have a 15 year son who wants to stretch his ears to 10mm. I have also been the ‘hard to get along with’ parent who has said not until he is 18. Honestly - I don’t mind the odd piercing here and there - but I am really worried he is going to really scar his lobes. He tells me this won’t happen if he ‘does it right’. I don’t want him to do something he will regret when he is older and figure when he is 18 I can be comfortable in the fact that if something does happen then it was his choice.

    Julie on April 3rd, 2010 at 6:31 am
  76. im at barely a 10g and im 15
    but my parent’s wont let me go any bigger there worried ill regrett my decisions later but i wont im planning on being a photographer part time and i dont think apearance matters in that field and also a part time hair stylist and peole like to get there hair done by someone creative at least i think they do . I at least want to go to a 1g but i guess il just go little by little so i dont give them a heart attack.Maybe/hope fully by the age of 18 ill be at a 1g(:

    Alexandria on April 6th, 2010 at 7:12 pm
  77. Hey my mom doesnt like gauges either but today i went shopping with my friend and bought pinchers size 14 and i just put them in, i know if my mom sees them she’ll kill me but she will get over it if i dont get anything like 00, what im doing right now is just hidding them buy covering them with my hair, if u dont have long hair you can grow your hair and then put small ones in and if u dont like long hair just talk your mom into getting small ones GOOD LUCK

    Giota on April 14th, 2010 at 5:12 pm
  78. @39:

    Ought you have written, ( or is that bad English too )….

    “Double Zero is also known as nought-nought, or Double nought.”

    To everyone else,

    While some “ear” ( excuse the pun for ‘here’ ) discuss “gauging” or “stretching” you could also say; “resizing my earlobe piercing holes by stretching them.”

    Has anyone simply used; “resizing” or “sizing”?

    I thought I’d throw my $0.02c ( about £0.03p ) in to this lengthy discussion.

    DrMarten on April 29th, 2010 at 11:00 pm
  79. When I was younger my mum was the same and she still doesnt like mods so when i come home with one shes just says ohh another hole in your face! but doesnt care now that im over 18 and its my life. But when i read one of the comments above it clearly points out that if you dont have the patience to wait then your probably going to stretch too fast and have scarring, and thats what happend to me and now that im over 18 i still havnt bothered to stretch my ears just because i know that last time when i wasnt aloud to do it i went through a lot of pain and discomfort just because i had no idea what i was doing, i think you should wait, or move out and realise how hard it is to pay your own bills, let alone in your mothers situation pay her bills and feed an extra mouth

    Sivaan on May 5th, 2010 at 11:07 pm
  80. everyone is really trying to school this person on the correct term to be used, when no one has even address that this person is a child, probably no more than 16. Cut them a break, we’ve all been young.

    lauren on May 18th, 2010 at 11:28 pm
  81. haha just do it anyway foo. Fuck them lol, idk lol my ears were backalley pierced with a clip an some earings. I stretched to 16g with a tongue post. Seriously if it mean that much to u then just do it. I wasnt even allowed to have my ears pierced, now my ears are at 3/4, ive been threatened, yelled at, kicked out. U know what i say, fuck them if they are that superficial an if they really lov u they will get over it. My parents got over it and bought me flesh tones for family get togethers and stuff.

    EarStretchinWoot on June 8th, 2010 at 2:52 am
  82. My parents didn’t even notice my 0g ears until I told them (at the age of 18) that I was going to get my lip pierced and then they freaked.
    At least until 8g, they probably won’t notice (except that you’ve already made a huge deal out of it) and after that, you can get plugs that look inconspicuous for when you’re around your parents…
    I have a pair of wooden plugs from City Buddha. No one realizes my ears are stretched until I wear my tunnels…

    and btw
    arguing about whether “stretched” or “gauged” is correct is like arguing about “chips” versus “crisps”. Grow up.

    Alucard on August 19th, 2010 at 7:52 pm
  83. Just take it slow, get them done as big as she’s ok with, and wait until you move out to stretch them. I had to wait until I was on my own to cut a mohawk and stretch my ears, and it was well worth the wait. I invited her to come with me for both, she did, and she’s more understanding now that she went through the process with me, but doing it after I was on my own was the responsible things to do.

    Sarah on August 23rd, 2010 at 12:33 am
  84. Well what i did was when i was 13 i just started stretching and slowly pushing the boundaries more and more until now im 17 and i got 53mm lobes (around 2 1/8), microdermal on my anti eyebrow, 2g septum, 4g second ear piercings, and both sides of my nose pierced, you just gotta do it slowly and hope for the best haaha, well my parents arnt as closed minded as some, but believe me i went through a lot of shit for it, mostly bitching about concern of me getting a job

    steve on October 18th, 2010 at 1:43 am
  85. I’d say just stretch em up as big as you want regardless of what your parents say. I pierced and stretched my ears without parental consent and they’re now at 1&1/4in. It’s your body and you have the right to do what you want with it. If you’re passionate enough about doing something just do it.

    And i also hate the fake gauges. Personally i think they’re for posers. Just stretch your ears. It’s not hard.
    As for stretching and gauging, stretching is the process of it and gauges are what you put in your ear. gauging is NOT the process.

    Jimmy on November 13th, 2010 at 5:37 am
  86. “gauges are what you put in your ear”

    Michael on December 9th, 2010 at 12:30 am
  87. Hi :) my name is cody(im a guy) and i have 8mm ears.
    I got them pierced and then i started stretching them. My mom doesn’t mind she just doesn’t like facial piercings or anything bigger then 1cm or 10mm.
    I’m 14(just turned it) and there awesome. I’m not trying to brag but i absolutely love them :).
    The stretches aren’t so bad, they hurt sometimes but for me it was only the 5mm stretch.
    I got my ears pierced when i was 12 and started stretching them when i was 13.
    But remember you’ll have to take them out for your job (if you have one or if your getting one). I still haven’t figured out what im going to have to do when i get a job next year or for high school. But i will not take them out.
    But remember once you go past 8mm there that size forever.

    Here’s some pics…..[email protected]/5406159012/[email protected]/5405553155/in/photostream/
    Thanks Bye,
    Cody.H. ;) :)

    cody on January 31st, 2011 at 7:33 pm
  88. Cody, my advice to you would be let your ears how they are now, your young. You have no idea what you want to do with your life and need to figure that out before you do something of this nature to yourself. on April 4th, 2011 at 6:59 pm
  89. Hi. I need advice. Ok I’m 13 now and I want to stretch my ears and have gauges! Right now im only at 18g or 16g. My mom and family are against it completely and don’t wanna hear about it. I recently bought fak plugs (yes I know im a poser) but I wanted to see how they looked and if I really wanted them. And basically my mom said wear those and when Ur 18 do what ever the hell you want. But I would like to start stretching now. I don’t plan on having giant gauges but maybe a nice mediumish size? What should I do???

    Ashley on April 8th, 2011 at 3:20 am
  90. Maybe I can help with the arguement a little.
    To me, when someone uses “gauge” as a verb, it’s like slang. Like how the linguist said “I seen” or “me and Bob”, and what not. It becomes slang, but yes, it does get the point across. I guess for the rest of us they want a proper term, which would be “stretching”.
    Although from the comments I’ve been reading it sounds like a nice way to figure out whether the person actually knows what they’re talking about. Even for me, when someone uses a lot of slang term or constant cursing, I don’t think of them as high as someone who has a wide vocabulary and uses it well. Or on the net when someone uses nothing but all lowercase or texttalk, it’s pretty common for someone who uses good grammar to already have a bad view of said person to begin with.
    But this is just my opinion.
    And with the original post-I started stretching my ears without my mom knowing, and she still hasn’t found out. I originally had an 18G, and I was pierced when I was in the single digits young. I had asked mom about getting a larger size, and she said no, because I won’t be able to wear dressy earrings (like I will).
    So I started going with my dad and simply bought a size larger (16G). I used the same type (circular barbell), just one size up. My mom never noticed. My next step is a 14G, but I might do that either by myself or try and get dad to let me get them again.
    If your mom’s nice, try and convince her that this is something you really want to do, and you’re sure this is what you want. If she still says what she said the first time, just do what I do. Although just bring your mom and tell her that this is the size you still are. She might go along with it, she might not.
    Or you can wait, which would be easier. Less going behind the back and you don’t have to bring your mom. You wait until you’re older, and if you still want to then, then by all means, go with it.

    Nikki on April 16th, 2011 at 12:02 pm
  91. After checking back on this thread after a few years of being away from it - here’s my thoughts for all of you.

    It is great to find satisfaction in being able to change your body that better suits your self-image. However, be sure to balance that against the potential change it means to your future.

    Until society in general changes and becomes more tolerant of the desire to be different - in any way - whether it’s mods, tattoos or even just crazy colored hair - until society changes, you need to always be aware of the impact of the changes you make to your appearance.

    Like it or not, your appearance IS something that people consider when looking at you for a job. Be serious about your aspirations in life and be serious when you consider the effects of what you want to change. I know of some towns that won’t hire you to work in their schools if you have any visible tattoos. Like it or not.

    As a parent myself I can say that it is this thinking that is behind my concerns. Our approach to our kids was that if they could truthfully articulate why they wanted something, that we were supportive of them. Their ability to cogently express themselves was in itself a demonstration of maturity.

    Anon on July 6th, 2011 at 12:42 am
  92. ok… so im 13 and for the last year or so i have been stretching my ears slowly.. at the minute i’m wearing 3mm tapers. i really want to go up to 10mm but i’m really worried my mum will say no. i know you said wait until ur 18 or do it anyway its ur body but i want them done with my parents agreeing to having them done.
    any ideas how to talk my mum about it??

    hellotherepeople990 on August 6th, 2011 at 10:19 am
  93. be 16
    get lobes pierced
    get stretchers
    start stretching
    mum and dad dont give a fuck
    stay at 8mm
    become 17 change my mind i want at 16mm
    start stretching
    get to 16mm
    enjoy it
    see people at 3mm who stop at 3mm and i ask why and they sey because big ones are ugly
    and i laugh :D
    small is pathetic if ur gonna do it go bigger than 5mm

    CUNTLUGS on August 20th, 2011 at 9:01 am
  94. oh yeah just ask your fucking mum and convince the cunt your not gonna look like an african tribes member unless u stretch it too fucking 60mm but remember your mum will probably want you to pay for so work out round the house.

    CUNTLUGS on August 20th, 2011 at 9:04 am
  95. Ha, linguistic throw-down!

    I’ve always used the phrase “gauge up” or “gauge down” as back in the dark ages when I was but a wee tot if you told someone you were “stretching your ears” they would take it to mean literally stretching the entire ear to Dumbo-esque proportions.

    Of course, now I’d best say what all the cool kids are saying. Wouldn’t want to lose my place in the in-crowd. Three years after this post are people still so snobby?

    SentWest on January 31st, 2012 at 4:10 pm
  96. I use the term gauging, because I like it more. I know it’s not proper, but that’s what everybody says around me, so it catches on.I have been going slow… I started about 5 or 6 months ago, and I’m only at 8g. I am yet to skip a size, I’ve used a taper on every stretch (Except 16g due to lack of tapers for that size) and I have waited AT LEAST 2 weeks before each stretch. I actually waited about a month and a half from 10 to 8.

    Bryson on March 27th, 2012 at 9:56 pm
  97. By the way, I’m 12. My parents hate it, but they can’t stop me.

    Bryson on March 27th, 2012 at 9:56 pm
  98. i know its been a long time since you asked but im dealing with the same problem and i suggest that until you are 18 you just wear the fake gages that are really eareings. that is what i did till i got really small gages. just one or two sizes bigger than an earing.

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