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#1
Old 11-27-2015, 08:25 PM
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Earring question for women that grew up in the 60s-70s.

One thing that I always liked to see on a woman was big hoop earrings. When I was dating and married to my ex (born 1957) I always tried to nudge her towards big-ish hoops but she told me they were "slutty". Was this something that was understood by women of that era? Was she just weird? She had more than the standard two piercings, apparently that wasn't "slutty".
#2
Old 11-27-2015, 09:00 PM
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I'd say vulgar rather than slutty.
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#3
Old 11-27-2015, 09:05 PM
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I always thought of it as bohemian.
#4
Old 11-27-2015, 10:31 PM
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My mother actually nearly had a cow (a term in use at the time) when I got my ears pierced as a teen in the mid-60s. Forget hoops; piercing just Was Not Done.

Oddly enough I got a pair of diamond earrings from one of my great-aunts, who bought them in El Paso Texas in the 1920s, for $400. (The receipt was in the box. It's still in the box.)

But this great-aunt was the only one of her generation who had pierced ears and she was widely considered to be strange, if not mentally ill. Evidence: She liked to travel and live in exotic places; she did not get married; she pierced her ears; she took a "man's job" on more than one occasion (gardener, newspaper reporter). Personally I think she was about the only sane one.

My mother also had apoplexy when I tried to wear patterned stockings with my miniskirt. "Only really bad girls wear those." "Mom--everyone wears them. Everyone." "So if everyone jumped off a roof would you jump off too?"

But back to the earrings: it's a look. I happen to like it and wear hoops a lot. The bigger they get, the more like I am to lose one, so mine are mostly approximately the circumference of a quarter. And I think they are a lot more mainstream now than they were, say,30 years ago.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 11-27-2015 at 10:31 PM.
#5
Old 11-28-2015, 12:50 AM
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Interesting question. When I was a teen in the 1970s, it was socially acceptable to pierce one's ears; it was kind of a rite of passage for girls. I was somewhere between 16 and 19 when I got mine pierced.

I don't know about hoops per se, but I think big, "flashy" earrings of any sort were considered a little "out there." I wouldn't go so far as to say "slutty," but "bohemian" has the right ring to it.
#6
Old 11-28-2015, 05:12 AM
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I don't think slutty either, though my mother may have. It was a huge battle to get her to agree to have the doctor pierce my ears, and then the closest I got to hoops were demure little "keepers".

I definitely understood my mother thought pierced ears in general were exotic (and somehow naughty?) for young ladies of British extract.
#7
Old 11-28-2015, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfool View Post
I always thought of it as bohemian.
I suspect bohemian, vulgar and slutty are all the same with different flavors. Big hoops were not (and still really aren't) something you wear out to dinner at the Country Club with your husband's conservative boss - not something you'd wear today to a conservative job interview.

But out dancing, to a party, or just hanging - they can look very nice and appropriate.

(I've only worn anything close to a large hoop once. If they get caught on ANYTHING, it can be really painful. Including if they get caught in your hair and then your hair gets caught in something. But clothes, small kids, pens if you tend to fidget near your face with them, and sex are all danger zones for big hoops)
#8
Old 11-28-2015, 12:46 PM
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Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the really big ones I sometimes see, I mean maybe 2-3 inch diameter. Smaller than the top of a soda can.
#9
Old 11-28-2015, 12:55 PM
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Definitely bohemian and definitely not a mainstream look back then unless affected a bohemian look and/or you had an artsy-type job or such.
#10
Old 11-28-2015, 02:45 PM
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I wore hoops, although not huge ones. I never thought they were slutty at all. Then again I always did what I wanted without too much thought about what other people thought. I never liked the real big ones because as said above, they were always getting caught in something.

Getting my ears pierced was a big thing though. My father refused to let us, saying only heathens got their ears pierced - we were Catholic. However, my non-Catholic cousins were told they couldn't get their ears pierced because only Catholics got their ears pierced.
Go figure.

Anyway, my younger sister and I walked up to the doctor's office, handed over our $5 allowance and got our ears pierced, the $5 included the price of the earrings. Eventually my father saw the earrings and was he ever pissed! Wasn't long after that though that he took me shopping for a nice pair of earrings, little jade balls in 14k gold, $16 marked down from $20.
#11
Old 11-28-2015, 04:59 PM
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As one roughly in the age range, I'd say it may just be an attitude from the region where she grew up. It was considered more tasteful and "classy" to wear small stud earrings, but not slutty to wear bigger, dangly ones.
#12
Old 11-28-2015, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the really big ones I sometimes see, I mean maybe 2-3 inch diameter. Smaller than the top of a soda can.
Those are pretty huge. The largest ones I wear are about half an inch in diameter.
#13
Old 11-28-2015, 05:35 PM
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I only wore huge hoops once... got my butt length hair tangled in them and said "never again". I was just a kid who had went to bed wearing them.

I do have a giant pair that look like XMas balls (blue) that I may wear come XMas.... but I will probably go with the French hook beaded Santas. Just because I'll be too conscious of big dangly things by my face.

---jokes starting in 3, 2, 1....
#14
Old 11-28-2015, 05:36 PM
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I would consider these huge.

I like this size. Or this
#15
Old 11-28-2015, 08:00 PM
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I was a kid in the 60's and 70's. I had to beg my mother's permission to get my ears pierced, as her sentiment on the matter was that it was something only "whores and gypsies" had done. When I finally was allowed to get the piercings, it was under the condition that I would only wear studs - no hoops or danglers. To this day I'm still inhibited by the memory of my mom's voice when I even consider wearing "slutty" hoops. So, yeah - it was a sign of the times.
#16
Old 11-28-2015, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Hippie View Post
I would consider these huge.



I like this size. Or this

Yeah, those in your second and third links are exactly what I wore back in the day. I don't think those are "slutty" at all. I thought they made me look carefree and artsy. Or so I hoped.
#17
Old 11-28-2015, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahirrnee View Post
Getting my ears pierced was a big thing though. My father refused to let us, saying only heathens got their ears pierced - we were Catholic. However, my non-Catholic cousins were told they couldn't get their ears pierced because only Catholics got their ears pierced.
Go figure.
That is so funny! That's exactly what my cousins were told. "Oh, no, only Catholic girls get their ears pierced." And I guess all the Catholic girls were being told the opposite.

And yet we all ended up with pierced ears...
#18
Old 11-29-2015, 09:53 AM
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My mother always said, "You might as well wear a bone through your nose!" When I asked about getting my ears pierced.

She gave in and I got mine pierced when I was around 15. At the GOOD jeweler's, with REAL gold. Not at a trashy place in the mall. I was also only allowed to wear studs.

She held out on the "bone through your nose" statement, until she thought she had lost a large, solid 18K love-knot clip-on earring (someone found it and it was returned to her). That weekend, she had her ears pierced, and had all of her good earrings converted to pierced by the jeweler.

Years later, when I got my navel pierced, the woman doing the piercing actually *did* have a bone through her nose, and I giggled madly.
#19
Old 11-29-2015, 12:45 PM
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I had to think about this for a day or so, because it does ring a bell, however faintly. I was born in the mid 60s. I'm from a fairly backwater area. I remember my mom & sister getting their ears pierced around 1973-1974 by a woman wielding a needle and an ice cube. This woman was prominent in the local church so apparently ear-piercing had become acceptable. The thing is, over the first few years of the 1970s A LOT changed. Girls in my town went from wearing dresses to school every day (slacks underneath on cold days, to be taken off once you got inside) to wearing dress pants to church. Guys who had been required to have their hair cut over their ears had hair down to their shoulders--and they weren't considered hippies. It was controversial unto taboo to wear anything suggesting an American flag on your clothing--and by suggesting, I mean red and white stripes on one part of your shirt and white stars on blue on another--then suddenly as 1976 approached it became patriotic. I'm not saying it was like this all over the US, but in talking to others from small towns, this seems to have been common.

And in all these changes, a lot of old...known things, as we shall call them, got swept away and were forgotten or only half-remembered by those who hadn't been fully indoctrinated. When I read the OP, it did jar a faint memory of hearing about sluts and their wide hoop earrings, and also that only whores paint their toe nails red. I'm thinking there was also something about ankle bracelets. You really got to wonder, how sex obsessed does your mind have to be to find hoop earrings suggestive?
#20
Old 11-29-2015, 03:31 PM
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It isn't that they are suggestive. Its that the women who wore them (including my grandmother) were carefree, artistic and bohemian. Who is more likely to put out, a woman who is carefree, artistic and bohemian or one who is uptight, unimaginative and conservative?
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#21
Old 11-29-2015, 03:37 PM
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I'm a 90's kid, and hoop earings were definitely a taboo growing up. Girls in my school used to say, "The bigger the hoop, the bigger the wh*re." I'm not sure where it came from or why that was a saying.
#22
Old 11-29-2015, 07:38 PM
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This was a topic of conversation at one of my favorite restaurants this morning at breakfast. Two servers have a friendly competition wearing big earrings. One server today said she only wears the real big hoops (like 4" across") for special occasions...like halloween. She said if she had a hand full of one dollar bills and her big hoop earrings, no one would believe she was a server.

Long story to get to the answer to your question is apparently the bigger the slut factor.
#23
Old 11-29-2015, 08:02 PM
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Not slutty, in my group, but also "not done." I never could bring myself to wear big earrings of any sort, except for dangles with a ball gown. If I had earrings below my ear lobes, I also had gloves up to my elbows.

It's right up there with wearing your hair down with a formal gown, or peep toe shoes with heels. (sandals are for the beach!!!)

But I am notoriously and ridiculously conservative when it comes to clothing. I still can't bring myself to wear a skirt without hose. I do love wearing pumps with ankle straps though, they are just so daring! LOL!
#24
Old 11-29-2015, 08:36 PM
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I know nothing about earring culture, but I do recollect about five years ago being in a restaurant with a 20-something bartender, and although I have no idea how the conversation came up (no doubt started by my wife), the bartender did mention that her mother had chided her about 'large bore' earrings being slutty.
#25
Old 11-29-2015, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerosa View Post
It isn't that they are suggestive. Its that the women who wore them (including my grandmother) were carefree, artistic and bohemian. Who is more likely to put out, a woman who is carefree, artistic and bohemian or one who is uptight, unimaginative and conservative?


You'd be surprised
People are not always what they project
#26
Old 11-30-2015, 02:08 AM
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Dutch here, born end '60. This expert says nothing about hoops being tacky, and he regards a LOT of other things as tacky.

Fashion experts Trinny and Susanna recommend pingpong ball sized hoop earrings. They go with most looks and fit most faces and necks, they say.

Pierced ears, back when I grew up, were normal. But big earrrings...those were viewed as bohemian, extravagant, but more theatrical then slutty.
I guess there was more money to be made with tiny earstuds made of precious stones and metals, so those were sold and worn. You only see those on older ladies, now.

Nowadays, no-one expects earrings to last more then a season, and they are not made of precious materials anymore. To make up for that, they are flashy and colorful and big. That's how the young wear them.

Ladies growing up in the 80 often wear a lot of tinier earrings, pierced along the edge of their ears. That is kind of dating, too
#27
Old 11-30-2015, 02:52 AM
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My mother thought all pierced earrings were "common". (She thought a lot of things were common). I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 18 (1971) and allowed to decide such things for myself.

I wore clip on earrings exactly once in my life they hurt like hell.
#28
Old 11-30-2015, 07:12 AM
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I only ever see them sold at stores that sell cheap "club wear". I think of them as kind of ghetto but I don't get out to da clubs any more and my company is conservative so you wouldn't see that kind of jewelry here. In other words, I don't think I know what the standard is these days among the age group that would wear them. As for when I was growing up, lots of girls wore hoops, though I don't recall them being any bigger than maybe 2 1/2 - 3 " in diameter. I think the giant ones would be more for entertainers, and not necessarily slutty, but more of a costume than what the average girl would wear.
#29
Old 12-01-2015, 10:39 AM
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I thought my mother was a dinosaur when she refused to let me pierce my ears as a teenager. Her words? "If God wanted you to have holes in your ears, he'd have created you that way." (insert teenaged eye-roll here). Thankfully my grandmother wasn't such a fuddy duddy. She took me to the mall to go Christmas shopping and I came home with pierced ears. My mother was outraged, but the deed had been done. When I was done wearing my 'starters', I was allowed to wear stud or button earrings only. Pierced ears were 'common', but wearing hoops was 'low class'. This was said with an emphasis that led me to believe that 'low class' was synonymous with 'streetwalker-ish'.

Of course when I left home for college, the first thing I did was buy a pair of hoops - about 1 1/2 inch, if I remember correctly.

I do have some 2-inch hoops now, but like others, they are not worn for work, just for going out and having fun. I also have one pair of chandelier earrings that are pretty long which I bought during the craze for them in the aughts, but again, not work wear. Most of the time, I wear my diamond studs or my pearl dangles for work. Sometimes a plain gold 3/4-inch hoop.

I thought the big hoops were pretty, but not necessarily workable for me as I had long hair and knew several people who had gottent their hair tangled in their earrings. I distinctly remember one of Linda Rondstadt's early albums where she was wearing a pair of great big hoops on the cover photo. She looked great in them.
#30
Old 12-01-2015, 10:54 AM
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My wife calls them 'slut earrings'. She says the bigger the hoop the more the woman is advertising her 'availability'. I don't know how serious she is, but since she told me that I've found women wearing big hoop earrings more alluring.
#31
Old 12-01-2015, 11:01 AM
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According to my wife, big gold hoops are for the Latinas. Mind you, my wife is a Latina herself so she doesn't mean "whores" by this but rather that it's a standard Latina fashion choice.
#32
Old 12-02-2015, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sahirrnee View Post
You'd be surprised
People are not always what they project
Of course not. But this isn't about what you are, this is about what you project.
#33
Old 12-03-2015, 10:22 AM
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I'm slightly younger than the target age group (born in the mid-70's). I don't know that they ever really struck me as slutty, per se. It's more that big hoop earrings aren't really appropriate for some situations - sort of like large chandelier earrings. Or really, now that I'm thinking about it, any larger earrings, regardless of style. I wouldn't feel appropriate wearing them to the office, for example, or to church or a funeral, although I might wear them to a wedding. To be fair, I wouldn't wear them anyway - I rarely wear big hoops at all because of the tendency to get caught in random shit and immediately proceed to hurt like the dickens. In my brain, big hoop earrings are party or clubbing wear. Similarly, big chandelier earrings are formal wear.

I'd give someone wearing big hoop earrings (or big chandeliers) to, for example, the office the very minor side eye for slightly inappropriate dress, but that's about it. Unless, as previously mentioned, she were Latina - I also tend to associate that particular style of earring with Latinas and my brain would give that one a cultural flag.
#34
Old 12-03-2015, 11:51 AM
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To offer an otherwise OT perspective (male, born in 70): pierced ears were considered glamorous when I was young, but the only person of the large group of cousins older than I to wear hoops was the carefree cousin. She's at least 15 years older than I, was a schoolteacher, married/divorced several times (aint gonna take shit off nobody), and drove a TransAm. She was and is the picture of awesome.

Her siblings were all very near my mother's age - I actually thought of the generation in question as my aunts and uncles until I was 30 or so, and still refer to them as such. Grandma got pregnant with mom at 43, and mom's nearest sibling was 10 years older than her. I don't think any of my other cousins (aunts and uncles, whatever you want to call them) on that side of the family had pierced ears.

Maybe from that association, maybe from some other source, perhaps from some primal urge - I've always associated it with a woman who's more adventurous than most. I wouldn't say slutty, but willing to take a chance.

Around ten years after the time period in question? I only had to take my 1" hoops out for jobs that said the "pirate look" wasn't really working for them. Yep, a customer actually described me as looking like a pirate. People think strange things about jewelry in general, and piercings specifically.
#35
Old 12-03-2015, 12:12 PM
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In my circle hoops were not slutty nor vulgar; because the uptight females in my circle would never say those words. Any dangley earring was inappropriate.
You did not wear them to meet your dad for lunch at the country club after his golf game. You did not wear them to your boyfriends graduation from Yale**. You did not wear them in the presence of your inlaws-to-be until long after they became your inlaws. They were OK for frat parties, concerts and hanging around in the dorm.

Both my parents would not allow my sister or me to pierce our ears. My mother* said "only PEASANTS have pierced ears." My father said "You'll look like a tinker." (what ever that means.)
When I was 18 I begged our family Dr to pierce my ears. I figured at that age as long as I did not have a "back alley" piercing my mother would not be too upset; although why I gave a crap what she thought back then is beyond me. Oh wait right I was still drinking the cool-aid at that age.

*mother was a wacky bitch as I have eluded to in more than one thread.

**At my boyfriends graduation I looked so "Junior League/DAR" he did not recognize me.
#36
Old 12-03-2015, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT_Damsel View Post
<snip>
Both my parents would not allow my sister or me to pierce our ears. My mother* said "only PEASANTS have pierced ears." My father said "You'll look like a tinker." (what ever that means.) . . .
Tinker is another derogatory name for the already derogatory(?) word gypsy, I believe.
#37
Old 12-03-2015, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Tinker is another derogatory name for the already derogatory(?) word gypsy, I believe.
A tinker is a traveling mender of metal goods. So the term 'gypsy' is meant as 'itinerant', not necessarily Roma.
#38
Old 12-03-2015, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
A tinker is a traveling mender of metal goods. So the term 'gypsy' is meant as 'itinerant', not necessarily Roma.
Thank you for that morsel of knowledge
#39
Old 12-03-2015, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
A tinker is a traveling mender of metal goods. So the term 'gypsy' is meant as 'itinerant', not necessarily Roma.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Thank you for that morsel of knowledge
Thank you both; Dad was intolerant to say the least.
#40
Old 12-03-2015, 03:54 PM
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Born in early 60's and hoops weren't worn because that's what streetwalkers wore. That seemed to change around the mid-seventies and you began to see hoops in JC Penny. My mom & I actually went and got our ears pierced together.
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