Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What About Those Earrings?

Nineteen forties hairstyles was a primary concern for the cover photos for my Promise For Tomorrow books. What may not be obviously historically wrong is the fact that all three women have pierced ears.

Ear piercing has been performed since ancient times. They’re mentioned in the Bible.
Earrings for women have been in and out of fashion in Europe. When hair and clothing obscured the ears, they lost popularity. During the 16th century, they were more common among men than women. In England, earrings were typically worn in one ear only.
In the western world, ear piercing was popular for women in Victorian times, but lost favor in the early 1900s when screw-back earrings were invented, eliminating the need for piercing. In the 1930s, cheaper clip-on earrings became the rage. During the years of World War II, very few women had pierced ears.
In 1951, Princess Elizabeth (the future queen) had her ears pierced in September, 1951, to be able to wear a pair of pierced earrings she’d received as a gift. Women took note and followed her lead. Within a few years, however, interest dropped, and once again piercing became rare. Not until the late 1960s did piercings revive with the hippie generation.
During the 1970s, interest increased dramatically among women with the invention of the piercing gun. Piercing became a rite of passage for teen-aged girls, and older women chose to pierce their ears because clip-ons do hurt.
Today, the great majority of Western women (around 95%) have pierced ears. In my local writers group, I noted only one other woman besides me with unpierced ears. Why don’t I pierce my ears? I abhor needles. Have you had your ears pierced? Why or why not?

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