Is white people stretching their ears cultural appropriation? (1 Viewer)

Glass Roads

Lurker
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
29
Hometown
Pullman, WA
I started gauging my ears today because I've always wanted a couple big ass gauges in each ear, and I want to start making some glass ones. But I'm getting all bummed thinking that maybe that's cultural appropriation. What are yalls thoughts?
 
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!

roughdraft

RápidoCorrenLosCarrosRespletoLosRielesDFerrocarril
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
1,149
Hometown
"The Hamptons of the Chesapeake"
my best advice is to not do it - because whether or not anyone out there judges you for gauging your ears, you are already judging yourself for *maybe appropriating **a** culture* (?) so the truth is that you're setting yourself up for distraction and unhappiness over something superficial.
 

blank

Wanderer
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
174
Hometown
South
I think that if you have to ask other people, it's probably not big enough of a deal to warrant worrying about what other people think. A person viewing this as cultural appropriation would have to have a pretty myopic view of what culture is and how it functions. Just do whatever.

You shouldn't do it anyways though that shit's gross/begging for a padlock.
 

SlankyLanky

stp user voted "the friendliest mod"
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
2,978
Age
33
Hometown
richmond virginia, the east coasts portland.
not exactly what you asked, but my advice would be think for a minute or two before making decisions like that especially on yer face. i stretched my ears quite large when i was a teenager and within a year or two realized i didnt like the way they looked anymore and took them out. im nearly 33 now and still have what looks like little buttholes in my ears that will most likely never close up fully.

but no, i dont think stretching yer ears is cultural appropriation, but i also have traditional japanese artwork on my body so what the fuck do i know.
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
9,322
Hometown
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
I think the term 'cultural appropriation' gets confused with the 'evolution of cultures' if that makes sense. It's only cultural appropriation if it's exploitative of that culture and is ignorant of that culture's history.

I've never heard of stretching ears as cultural appropriation because I think most of us understand where that comes from and at least a little bit if it's history, unlike a white guy wearing an Indian head dress for halloween.
 

void gaze

Newbie
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
49
Hometown
Abbadon
That’s a good question and I think the answer is yes/kinda. I’m a white male coded person who stretched my ears a long time ago and didn’t know anything about the cultural background of stretched piercings at the time aside from it was something I saw people with at hardcore shows. So I don’t want to be defensive here. I guess the answer is technically yes but as I understand it one of the big issues with cultural appropriation per se is that it amounts to rubbing it in people’s faces who are part of the culture but face discrimination issues when embracing it, for instance dreadlocks worn by black people can lead to them being profiled as criminals/dealers/‘shady looking’ etc, but white people who do it will more likely be considered cool. Or Arab people vs. white hipsters wearing keffiyehs, or wearing war bonnets at Coachella or depicting natives as sports mascots etc when they are sacred objects within a specific culture and many people find it really hurtful to see them displayed in this way.

I’m not really sure how much of this applies to stretched piercings though because its traditional forms are very rarely seen in many places. It’s also not quite the same as clothes, ornaments, hair or smaller diameter piercings which can all be removed more easily or even tattoos which can be covered, after a point it can’t really be undone. I think it’s also different whether your jewelry is in the style of some traditional culture or not. It’s also not even super specific to a given culture or part of the world as some people in traditional cultures on many continents have been known to stretch piercings.

Anyway if you’re just starting you have plenty of time not to do it, if it makes you uncomfortable. So in all I think it’s one of the least bad forms of what could be called cultural appropriation but it is not easy to reverse.
 

WanderLost

Newbie
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
89
Hometown
South
I wouldnt worry about it. Its not like you have bad intent towards any culture that did it first. After all the definition of culture is: A shared way of doing things.

Cultures across the world borrow from eachother on all kinds of levels and its not necessarily bad. In America (or i guess probably most places) stretching your ears is more related to alt/punk fashion or lifestyle than it is to the people who started it. I think any reasonable person would see that you are not trying to make a statement about the original culture that it came from. After all we're all human, and we all share a way of doing things.
 

Juan Derlust

Resident itinerant paradoxymoron
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
1,128
Hometown
Sad but true
Culture's a curious thing - especially for 'misfits' & 'outsiders' who've been excluded (or exclude themselves for whatever reason). In my experience & observation, stretched ears is mostly a cultural phenomenon endemic to white urban and suburban areas & usually a harbinger of gentrification
 

WanderLost

Newbie
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
89
Hometown
South
Culture's a curious thing - especially for 'misfits' & 'outsiders' who've been excluded (or exclude themselves for whatever reason). In my experience & observation, stretched ears is mostly a cultural phenomenon endemic to white urban and suburban areas & usually a harbinger of gentrification
Well atleast its a way that white urban & suburban areas can know that theyre gonna be gentrified 😁
 

Juan Derlust

Resident itinerant paradoxymoron
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
1,128
Hometown
Sad but true
You're right - just Venice, Echo Park, Silverlake, Huntington Park, San Francisco, Oakland, London, Paris & every other metro area I've ever lived and/or visited...
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 4, 2006
Messages
9,322
Hometown
Austin, TX
Website
youtube.com
You're right - just Venice, Echo Park, Silverlake, Huntington Park, San Francisco, Oakland, London, Paris & every other metro area I've ever lived and/or visited...
My point is that you're drawing the wrong correlation there. You might as well say kakis and flavored coffee are the root of gentrification. Those are symptoms, not causes.
 

Roxy

Newbie
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
28
Age
27
Hometown
Somewhere
Hey what about the many varieties of appearences of sub cultures that exist in america, ones who wear tattoos, and dress in black, and pierce their faces and wear dreads. People, i feel, yell cultural appropiatiion, but they do not respect the other cultures that exist amongst them. Cultural appropiation is normal, its a bi-product of freedom, its the freedom to say i like this, like ska-punk, like so may other things that exist in this world. This is why i kinda hate new liberals, constantly they try to restrict my freedom of choice, to say i like, and to say i love, and wear what i choose because i physically have the ability to do so. Constantly they ask me to care about people who dont give a shit about me. New cultures are born out of the ideas of old ones, and the new ideas of cultural appropriation can go fuck it self.


I also hate the term White, being used in sentences as a means of harming people. I do not think alot of people would understand me when i say this, but attacking a group of people, will bring further seperation, and cause further problems. I feel like now a days people are doing to "white" people what they once did to brown people. Not everyone is going to be like yeah your right we are the problem, i am now woke. Some people are gonna be like fuck you stop attacking me, . Instead of understanding all parties under the sun and finding a means to cooperate, the attacks will just cause more white nationalist groups to arise. I understand why, try living in a world where everyone is saying you and your privilige is the problem, being the simple and ignorant human creature humans tend to be, some will probably band together with people who dont attack them and attck the attackers.
 
Last edited:

Juan Derlust

Resident itinerant paradoxymoron
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
1,128
Hometown
Sad but true
2A580D72-9F92-45DD-AD00-E9C1391213B9.png

Just as a robin on the lawn digging for grubs indicates the coming of spring, the onslaught/prevalence of ear-gages signalled the beginning of the end of affordable housing in the cities I referred to earlier.
Harbinger doesn't signify causation
 
Last edited:

WanderLost

Newbie
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
89
Hometown
South
View attachment 53871
Just as a robin on the lawn digging for grubs indicates the coming of spring, the onslaught/prevalence of ear-gages signalled the beginning of the end of affordable housing in the cities I referred to earlier.
Harbinger doesn't signify causation
The people who move into gentrified areas dont show up until after whole foods and starbucks do. If im not mistaken.
 
Last edited:

coltsfoot

Newbie
Joined
Sep 20, 2017
Messages
37
Hometown
downeast maine
To me cultural appropriation is about power dynamics. e.g. Do you come from a culture that has a history of oppressing the culture that you a taking from? Is your culture actively subjugating this other culture right now? What are you giving back to this culture that you are taking from?

Cultural mixing and syncretism are part of what has made life so rich and beautiful for thousands and thousands of years. Huge oppressive forces dominating others and stealing at will or forcing assimilation... not so nice...

I obviously dont know what your lineage is and I have no idea what cultures historically stretch their ears but maybe it's part of your ancestry? Or maybe ear gauging comes from so many different places all around the world that it feels ok? Whenever someone asks me if x is cultural appropriation or not, I usually offer that they do some investigation and decide for themselves because there's no universal answer to that question.

For better or for worse, the days when people in privileged positions could just do and say whatever they wanted without having to do some work and think about the consequences of their actions seem to be coming to an end. To me that's mostly a good thing and I appreciate ur care. cf


I started gauging my ears today because I've always wanted a couple big ass gauges in each ear, and I want to start making some glass ones. But I'm getting all bummed thinking that maybe that's cultural appropriation. What are yalls thoughts?
 

Stiv Rhodes

Rambler
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
94
Age
36
Hometown
Bremerton, WA
Cultural appropriation happens in 2 phases. First, it's done by a counter culture seeking to distinguish themselves from the larger mainstream culture they come from. Then, it is gradually adoped by the mainstream culture simply because they come to like the asthetic of it. This does to the counter culture what was first done to the traditional culture: stripping their cultural signifiers of their meaning. I agree that ear stretching is a bit of a grey area, for reasons already mentioned, but with as many people who seemed to agree that cultural appropriation is no big deal, I think we should reflect on this point. The way a person looks to us, who gets dreadlocks done in a salon, is the way any white person wearing them looks to a person from a culture who wore them traditionally. Nobody is trying to deny you freedom of expression, they are asking that out of respect, you refrain from adopting asthetics that have special meaning to them which you are not a part of.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$150.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $150.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

Loaded 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a rat onto a Cadillac grainer outta Kirby yesterday. Yeeehaw! NOLA bound. Anyone with info outta Englewood Yd. In Houston would be much appreciated*
Eastbound from San Antonio! See ya soon nola.
Looking for someone or a group to travel with and show me the ropes. Total newbie
Free punk show HAAM benefit at BuzzSaw tonight 7pm in Austin!
Much nicer riding weather today! Howdy, Austin! I'll be around a few days I think, trying to get new tires on the motorbike before I move on.
Im in the bay headed to reno tonight, had a good week with good people and good miles. The tehachapi loop gets prettier every time.
Best part of unexpected kindness - (drum roll)
IT'S UNEXPECTED
Got to Beaumont. Fucking brrr, man. Someone remind me again what just what the hell am I doing in Texas?
leptospirosis--- possum piss in the water! feel awful! this is what killed lincons mum!! be careful of yoru water playmates!!!
Omg this shit happened again :( my love is back behide bars :( what can I do 2 make the most of the time I have now???

Staff online