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In Pursuit of Stretched Ears

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FEBRUARY 27, 2015

Weights, tunnels, plugs… All kinds of things can be found in people’s ears. We’ve all stopped and stared at some point, so The Weekender decided to go out and ask people questions about their body modifications. Here are The Weekender’s findings on stretched ears.


Timothy Plows, piercer at Zebra Tattoo

Ear stretch size: 1”+

Why did you decide to stretch your ears?

It was something different. It was 15 years ago when I saw jewelry at Hot Topic and I decided to shove a piece through my ear. After I had been a piercer for a long time, I stretched my nostrils, lip, and navel.

Why did you decide to stretch the others?

To be more extreme than the normal everyday people I pierce. Also, to see how much my body can take, what the limits are.


Angelina Gabrielli, freshman studying chemical biology

Ear stretch size: ½”

When did you start stretching your ears?

I know the exact date, it was December 3, 2010. I was in 9th grade at that point. I had already started dying my hair in 7th grade and I wasn’t old enough to get tattoos. My best friend who was a year older than me did it, so I jumped on that train.

Have you ever worried about how they will affect you in the professional world?

At job interviews I put plain black plugs in. Now I have dyed hair so I don’t take as many precautions. I was a nanny over summer and I had to ask if I could wear tunnels around the kids. I also told the women I was working for about my tattoos since sometimes I would be in the pool with the kids, but she was accepting of it. Whenever kids first ask me about my ears, I tell them that I was swimming without adult supervision and that the earlobe shark came and bit my ears and I warn them that if they do the same thing, they might be the earlobe shark’s next target.

What do you plan to do with them later in life?

I plan to get them sewn because I want to be a doctor.



Steve, employee at Zebra Tattoo

Ear stretch size: ¾”

Why did you decide to start stretching your ears?

At the time, none of my friends had it and where I grew up no one had their ears pierced. It was different at the time for the area I was in.

Where did you grow up?

Oakland, CA.

What do you plan to do with your ears in the future?

I plan on going bigger, just not sure when. I have a lot of jewelery at this size that I want to give more wear before I go up.

What is the weirdest question you have gotten about your ears?

“Why would you do that?” Almost in a disgusted way.


Jeff Skilling, senior studying English

Ear stretch size: 0 gauge

Why did you decide to stretch your ears?

I turned 18. That’s what everyone else was doing at the time.

Do things ever get caught in your gauges?

They fall out easy, but I’ve never had an issue with things getting caught in them. I’ve had some go down shower drains.

What do you plan to do with them later in life?

Hopefully they will close up because I’ve heard it costs $300 per ear for surgery.

How do people react to your ears?

My mom cried when she first saw them and I get shit at work sometimes. I work for a real estate investment company. I think overall gauges are becoming more accepted, but it depends on the field. Usually reactions are from other people with gauges, a lot of the time they ask what size they are.


Ben Ross, freshman studying environmental econ and policy

Ear stretch size: 12 gauge

Why did you decide to start stretching your ears?

I don’t know… Generally you see people with really stretched ears, but I thought they would look good if they were smaller. I’m into body modification. I’m only planning to go a few sizes bigger so I won’t need surgery.

How do people react to your ears?

Since I just started, people can’t really tell. People were like, “Oh! You pierced your ears!” So far people have been generally enthusiastic, but my grandma was like, “Don’t put those big things in your ears.”

Nicole White is an associate editor for The Weekender. Contact her at [email protected]

FEBRUARY 27, 2015