Why Do You Have Those Big Holes In Your Ears?

Why Do You Have Those Big Holes In Your Ears?From love to sheer loathing, my tattoos definitely get mixed reactions. But what receives even more raised eyebrows are my stretched ears. “Why would you do that?” they ask, “You know they’ll never go back, right?” I try to allow my bemused smile speak for itself because ‘pick your battles,’ right?

I’ve been interested in body modification since I was 14. That was the year I got my first piercing: a vertical labret through the centre of my lip. During my teenaged years I had up to 13 piercings all at one time. Over time I took most of them out either because they were migrating or I no longer fancied them. But my stretched ears and nose ring remain.

Like tattoos, other forms of body modification allow us to literally design the skin we’re in. Like an extreme (and more permanent) form of style, they allow us to express our inner vision for ourselves.

A beautiful example of this is Grace Neutral. She calls herself a kawaii space princess and her tattooed purple eyes, pointed elf ears, and lunar scarification beautifully match this description.

While my body modifications seem a lot less extreme in comparison, they’ve still been an important form of self-expression for me since I was young.

UK Custom Plugs recently sent me three pairs of their beautiful earrings to try out and I’ve absolutely loved discovering their website. From the polished crystal pieces they sent me to tiny art prints for your ears, it’s absolutely chockablock with beautiful, affordable body jewellery.

From the skeptical to the genuinely curious, I get a lot of questions about my stretched ears. So I thought I’d answer all of these questions in one place for anyone who’s curious, while showing off my new jewels.

Why Do You Have Those Big Holes In Your Ears?How big are your ear gauges?
They’re 3/4″ or 20mm.

Do you plan to stretch them anymore?
No, I’ve toyed with the idea but I’m quite happy with the way they look and I love my little collection of earrings.

How long did it take you to get them that large?
I started stretching them when I was 14. I got them to 00 gauge (10mm) that year and then left them for quite a while. During my first year of university, when I was 19, I decided to stretch them again and I gradually made them bigger over the next few months.

How did you stretch your ears?
The first time I stretched my ears, I bought a bright pink, 8 gauge (3mm) tapered earring. I sat on my bed squeezing a pillow while my friend shoved it through the pinprick sized hole in your ear. Make no mistake, stretching your ears HURTS and that was a big first stretch. I stretched them more gradually after that, leaving plenty of time in between to allow my ears to heal completely. While in university, I used layers of electrical tape on an existing earring to more gently stretch the holes. When in doubt about these kinds of things, please consult a piercing professional. I’ve had friends completely split their ears from stretching too quickly, which is a bloody mess and never heals properly afterwards.

What aftercare did you use to heal them?
I cleaned the area with saline solution and a Q-tip twice a day and when it had healed a little bit, used a gentle moisturiser once or twice a day.

Why Do You Have Those Big Holes In Your Ears?Will your ears ever go back to “normal”?
In short, no. If I took my earrings out permanently, they’d shrink back a little bit but never go back to “normal” or even to a pinprick. There are a couple of options if you don’t want to have stretched ears anymore. You can have them stitched back up or, less drastically, you can wear flesh coloured earrings. But I’m still really happy with mine.

If you got sick of your piercings, do you think you’ll outgrow your tattoos as well?
To be honest, there are days where, if I could, I would scrub of all of my tattoos and start over. Or I’d have completely bare skin for a while. And many tattooed people I’ve talked to have said the same. It’s like waking up one day, absolutely hating your hair, and wanting to shave your head. The feeling passes. And most days, I absolutely love them. If I had to have every piercing I’ve ever had for the rest of my life, I’d be okay with that. I still have the scars. It’s all part of my story.

Do you plan to get any more body modifications?
While I have plans to get many more tattoos (yes, I will be more or less covered), I don’t plan to explore any other body modifications. I’d never say never, but I don’t have plans for any. For a little while I’d toyed with the idea of pointed pixie ears and scarification, as I think they’re so beautiful. But ultimately I decided they didn’t completely match the vision I have of myself and when I was really honest, I realized I wasn’t up for the intensive healing process. Body modifications are a serious decision, so I’d advise anyone considering one to do a lot of research, consult with a professional, and give yourself lots of time to mull it over.

Thank you so much to UK Custom Plugs for the beautiful earrings. The quality is absolutely stunning and getting to wear little pieces of crystal in my ears feels extra magical. I even wore the rose quartz pair to my wedding and the amethyst and moonstone are in frequent rotation in my wardrobe.

Do you have any questions about body modifications? Do you have any yourself?


In Favour of Wearing Your Sunday Best!

In Favour of Wearing Your Sunday Best!Do you have an expensive dress hanging in your closet that makes you feel like a complete bad ass, but you never wear it because you’re saving it for a “special occasion”?

Or are there a pair of shoes you’ve been lusting after but you always talk yourself out of them because you wouldn’t have anywhere to wear them?

I went through a period in my early twenties when I lived in jeans and t-shirts. I was drawn to full, vintage-style skirts and edgy, punk rock accessories but I didn’t think this wild style fit into my new role as an activist. I was restricting my fashion choices to fit into someone else’s mold.

Eventually, the clothes I wanted to wear felt unnatural to me. It seemed too dressy and out of place to swan around in retro dresses paired with leather jackets.

Until I decided to just go for it. In 2013 my New Year’s Resolution was to not wear pants. Skirts and dresses all day every day instead.

I started incorporating glittery hair pieces and brightly coloured lipsticks into my outfits until they became my signature style choices. I’m happy wearing a tutu to work, bejewelled bunny ears to the farmer’s market, or a gown for a pizza date. Dressing up and expressing myself sartorially makes me feel good. And people have come to expect it from me.

It’s also changed how I go about buying clothing and accessories. I’m happy having a closet full of high quality, statement pieces with a few basics to mix and match them with. And I’m especially drawn to any item I can remix or restyle to make it completely my own.

Which is why I completely fell for Kirk & Kirk’s handmade sunglasses. You get to choose the frame, colour, and pin for a completely customized look. Jason and Karen Kirk are carrying on the work of their family, who started designing glasses in London in 1919. Each pair is handcrafted in France, while the adorning jewellery is produced in England.

They were kind enough to send me sunglasses from their Solarium Collection and I felt like a kid in a candy store getting to make my own creation. Inspired by the Victorian obsession with science and nature, each frame is named after a celebrated scientist of the era. I chose the Eleanor frames in anthracite with a silver fly pin. They’re the perfect combination of vintage chic with a punk rock edge.

It’s easy to let a high end product languish in a drawer for fear of them getting lost or broken. But I’m here to say: let’s always wear our Sunday best! Let’s get pleasure from the things that we love. Let’s allow them to make us feel good, rather than collecting dust somewhere.

So last Sunday I styled my hair in pin curls and put on a fancy outfit for a trip to the market and a walk around East London. Here’s what I wore…

kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 8kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 1 (2)kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 1 (1)kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 9kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 3 (1)kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 12kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 1 (3)kirk-and-kirk-collaboration - 13I’m wearing sunglasses c/o Kirk & Kirk, Love, Yu corset top from my bestie’s bridal boutique in Toronto, a Danier leather jacket, a Stella McCartney skirt (from the #VCSwapShop), United Nude shoes c/o AllSole, a necklace from a street market vendor, a tea rose crown c/o Crown & Glory, and an LYDC London bag.

I love the quote by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” When we focus on quality over quantity, we stop our obsession with consuming and start actually getting pleasure from our favourite things.

So why not save up for the most luxurious item you can afford, rather than buying 10 cheap ones that will break easily?

Make “wearing your Sunday best every day” a personal mantra.

Put on your fullest skirt and twirl around your living room.

Instate “dress up Mondays” to add a little flair to the start of the week.

Always keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to celebrate good feedback, friend’s successes, or awesome hair days.

Spray glitter in your hair before going to the movies.

Invite your girlfriends over and wear your prom dresses for a pizza party.

Buy beautiful vintage crockery and use it to serve tea every week (even if it’s just for yourself).

Wear a different colour of lipstick every day of the week.

Use those luxury bath products that you got as a gift, instead of saving them.

Replace your mascara with falsh eyelashes that make you feel like an old school movie star.

Learn to do a hair style you really love and wear it once a week just because.

Support independent, creative brands.

Buy things that make you feel good.

And tell me, which Kirk & Kirk frames would you choose? What can you do to celebrate the little things today?

Love, wild sunsets, & rose lemonade,

Snapshots of a Sunday.

Snapshots of a Sunday.I adore Sundays. For me, they’re synonymous with slow, luxurious, and relaxing. They seem like the perfect time for so many of my favourite things. Lazy lie-ins. Long walks. Markets. Girl date brunches. Fancy cooking endeavours. Getting lost in a book. Cuddling on the couch with a movie. Working in the garden.

But I have to stop myself from trying to cram it all into one Sunday, because that would be the antithesis of slow, luxurious, and relaxing.

This past Sunday managed to tick a lot of those boxes, but at one point I thought it was going to be ruined.

It started off well. We woke up around 9am and drank our coffees in bed. I set to work launching my new opt-in while Matthew did a few things around the house. But I got tripped up on a few technical pieces and the whole thing took a lot longer than I’d expected. I hadn’t had breakfast and I was hangry. Totally irrational, nothing-could-make-me-happy kind of hangry.

I actually started weeping at the bus stop because I didn’t have any clean tights and my over-the-knee socks kept falling down. It wasn’t pretty and I was having trouble pulling myself together. I just wanted to give up on the day and go back to bed (it was only noon).

Then I remembered listening to Alexandra Franzen’s interview on The Lively Show last week. She talked about a thought she’d had on a day when she’d wanted to give up and get into bed, too: Today is not over yet.

I took a deep breath and decided to push the defeatist thoughts from my mind. I became determined to cram the day with as many good things as I could.

There was a vegan breakfast. Stocking our cupboards with healthy foods. Peering in the windows of a toy museum. Drinks with Matthew’s parents. The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit with two of my favourite ladies. A delicious homemade dinner. Cuddles on the couch. A few chapters of Paper Towns.

All in all, exactly the kind of Sunday I relish.

The lesson? A simple attitude shift can be all it takes to turn around an entire day. And always eat a good breakfast.

Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.snapshots-of-a-sunday09Snapshots of a Sunday.I’m wearing a flower crown c/o Camden Town, a striped top from H&M, a leather jacket from Danier, a Stella McCartney skirt, tights from Boots, NeoSens boots, and a bracelet & necklace c/o Orelia London.

I wear a lot of statement jewellery and OTT hair accessories but sometimes I prefer something simple and chic so that they don’t steal the show. I recently received these pieces from Orelia London and I thought they were the perfect match with my oversized flower crown. The three stones on the bracelet offer a perfectly delicate sparkle and I love the bunting look of the triangle necklace. As much as I think you can tastefully mix a bunch of bold pieces in an outfit, I also have a soft spot for more classic jewellery. How about you?

And I’d love to know: do you become a complete wreck when you’re too hungry? What are your favourite things to do on a Sunday?

Love, pink tulips, & enormous chandeliers,

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