Studies made by anthropologist and historians allow us to claim that the practices related to the embellishment of the body are very ancient. Ear piercings reside firmly within this realm, together with tattoos, hair styling and nail art. As a matter of fact, the oldest mummy ever found has holes in the ears, very similar to those used nowadays for earrings. As demonstrated by scholars around the world, this art form has spread all over the planet and it is now a central part of the most different cultures.
Ear piercings, in fact, convey an enormous variety of messages: religious, symbolic, political, and cultural, among other kinds. Plus, thanks to modern globalising forces, such as satellite television and the Internet, traditions and ideas are now merging, opening the door for the most amazing combinations, crossing cultural references and ethnic systems of meaning.
Unsurprisingly enough, ear piercings have conquered the entire surface of our ears. In fact, they appear in different spots, mirroring fashions and trends spreading across the globe.
Ear Lobe Piercings
When it comes down to earrings, this is probably the most common kind, at least in the Western cultural universe. Almost each and every woman has ear lobe piercings, even those who don’t like the idea of “piercing” (quite an interesting contradiction!). As a matter of fact, it is quite impossible to discuss this without thinking about issues related to gender identity, which is created through the reiteration of symbolic practices and images, often built precisely around ear lobe piercings, long hair and specific dress codes. This said, ear lobe piercings are probably the least painful and, besides their normative nature, they can also be extremely provocative and seductive. It’s all a matter of style!
A piercing placed in the upper ear. This is quite a big section, which therefore can be decorated using a huge variety of earrings. It all depends on personal taste and style. Some people, for instance, choose to have one piercing while others opt for compositions made of multiple earrings. Helix piercings are extremely fashionable, they are often considered “elegant”, and they are loved by both boys and girls.
Piercings can also be placed on the tragus, which is the part of the ear right in front of the ear canal. This part of the ear can be tricky and only knowledgeable, experienced professionals should perforate it. This said, if you choose the right earring, tragus piercings can be very beautiful. Choose something small and elegant, and let your imagination drive.
The anti-tragus is the point in front of the tragus, the exact spot where the cartilage stops and the lobe begins. Talking about ear piercings, this is considered to be the most painful point, mainly because of the thickness of the cartilage. However, anti-tragus jewelry is becoming more and more fashionable around the world. Be creative, choose something surprising and your anti-tragus piercing will help you becoming the center of attention whenever you want to.
These are only few examples, mainly related to the most famous spots used for ear piercings. However, thanks to the continuous merging of cultures and traditions that characterise our post-modern world, new ideas are born every day. In fact, tribal and urban cultures are producing the most amazing combinations, playing with different gauge sizes and materials, designs and patterns. Beautiful!