As a person with a severe metal allergy, I never even dreamed of having pierced ears, much less gaping holes in them. However when I learned that gauging jewelry was usually not metal, I had to go check it out. That’s why I met up with Clair Strode, a piercer at Decorative Injections on Court street.
There are two methods to gauging your ears, and one definitely sounds more pleasant than the other. The tape-wrap method sounds excruciating. It involves wrapping tape onto the current earring, and putting that back into the piercing. Clair does not recommend this method because dead skin will get trapped in the tape, and your skin will look gross, smell bad, and won’t feel great either when it’s time to rip the tape out.
The method that Clair uses is called tapering. This involves stretching the ear with a tapered material and something like coconut oil. This method will not leave your ears a mess because of the gentle coconut oil.This method is used primarily for gauges on the smaller side. The downside is that it is the more expensive option, and takes longer.
The permanence of the piercing was also a concern for me. As a college student, I am free to express myself however I want to. In the workforce, this is not so. Clair told me that there are different size gauges. A size 20 is the size of a regular ear piercing, and there are sizes all the way down past zero. Although up to a size zero should go back to normal over time, after that there is no going back without surgery. “It’s a turning point in body modification for if you’re doing it for aesthetics versus if you’re in the lifestyle,” Clair said about going past a zero. Gauges are usually associated with the grunge look.
I suppose my eight year old fantasy of wearing earrings will have to remain in dreamland. After hearing all of the facts, I decide gauging isn’t for me. It is an alternative to the usual metal piercings, but not one that fits my personal style, life or otherwise. It turns out the college kids at Ohio University are in agreement. When asked how often she is asked to do a gauge, Clair says “ It’s a request that I get kind of frequently, but never from students”. According to Clair, the two most popular piercings for students are nose piercings in the fall, and nipple piercings in the spring, just in time for fest season.
Zoe Stitzer is a freshman studying journalism news and information at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you have any piercings? Let Zoe know by tweeting her @zoe_stitzer.