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Beyonce Hoop Earrings

Hoop Earrings Are A Black Girls Go To

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I noticed I was short on hoop earrings while packing to move recently. The biggest pair I had, had lived their best life and it was time for us to part ways. While packing I watched a ton of YouTube videos and saw black YouTubers wearing the cutest hoop earrings I was destined to add to my collection.

I remember growing up and I knew I needed to have a pair of nameplate hoop earrings and I constantly begged my mom for a pair. My friends told me where to get them and I went on a complete nagging spree. I would never forget my mother telling me how ghetto it would be and refused to purchase them until I gave up. I remember the disdain she had for hoops and I didn’t know why until I was much older and had shied away from wanting hoops altogether.

Ghetto, Loud, Hoes Wear Hoops

Hoop earrings to those that were not minorities were synonyms for poverty, ghetto, loud, hoeish, and uneducated. Hoops had such a negative effect they were eventually banned from schools if they were bigger than a quarter. Nobody wanted to wear small bamboo earrings or small nameplates but that’s what we were being disciplined over. The teachers began confiscating the earrings until a parent picked them up. It was more about presentation, when our schools were on the news for something positive we looked like stereotypical girls from the ghetto movies.

Janet Jackson hoop earrings
Janet Jackson Poetic Justice | Makeup + Braids – Youtube regarding Poetic Justice Hairstyles – Fade Haircut

It wasn’t the shape of the earring it was the boldness of the style we chose. We chose bigger and bolder to fit our individual personalities. Zig-zag hoops, bamboo hoops, nameplate hoops (as mentioned before), and plain silver or gold hoops that almost touched our shoulders. This fashion statement was seen in all the hip hop videos and made us stand out, but it put fear in corporate America as well. Hoops then became associated with “street wear,” I honestly still don’t know what that is. Since it was associated with minority culture the whole only ghetto people and hoes wear hoops started to gain traction. Hoops were for hoes is something I remember hearing a lot of when I was younger.

The image was bad, but they were so dope I couldn’t deny them forever. Once I got older I realized wearing hoops had nothing to do with my educational background or my ability to behave in a civilized manner. It was something like what I experienced in my natural hair journey, but in both instances I leaned towards rocking what society deemed unamerican.

Hoops Weren’t Always Low Class

Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1968

1648–1540 B.C.

After doing some research I learned about hoop earrings throughout history and found hoop earrings date back to 2500 BC worn by the Sumerian women.

Julius Caesar made hoop earrings a status symbol during his reign. Ancient Egyptians wore hoop earrings as a symbol of wealth and rank, even the sacred Egyptian cats wore hoop earrings. In order to assure proper burial pirates wore hoop earrings in case their bodies washed ashore. Hoops have been around for a very long time and have not always been looked down upon as lower class.

Once the Latina communities and the black communities began making them relevant again that they became less dignified.

Hoop Earrings Are Not Ghetto Gold

“Hoops exist across many minority groups as symbols of resistance, strength and identity.” ( Pivet) These earrings are not indicative of who a group of people are or their promiscuity. Hoop earrings are not a trend or ghetto gold as Carrie Bradshaw once said. They are a style staple that have been relevant throughout history. It wasn’t until American history got ahold of them that they became the symbol of minorities. I am a proud wearer of hoop earrings and I don’t care what society has to say about them.

What are your thoughts on hoop earrings?


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