As a small child my idea of beauty was red lips and big hoop earrings. That was the idea I had in my head for my ideal look when I grew up. My mother would never let me wear large earrings as a child, but she always kept me in little hoops. I couldn’t wait for the day I was allowed to wear the big ones.
Did you know hoop earrings date back to Nubia, a civilization that existed in the fourth century in what is now present-day Sudan?! In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore hoop earrings. Egyptian royalty including queens and pharaohs like Nefertiti, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen and Cleopatra wore gold hoops, but it was the style. For Egyptians, “earrings were seen as something that enhanced one’s beauty and sexuality.” As a child, my mother told me earrings always make you look beautiful. I never leave the house without a pair on and the few times I have… I actually have stopped in the store and bought a pair, because I felt naked.
I grew up in a white neighborhood and they made sure to let me know my hoops were ghetto! Instead of it making me feel bad, I embraced it! After all, I am originally from Duquesne, PA… not Westlake Village, CA where I went to school. I had NO problem living my true-self and was always PROUD of exactly where I came from. My knowledge of self has always been STRONG even when my mother’s sisters tried their best to reprogram and whitewash me. I love my Blackness and I am proud of it! Some things are innate to who you are! Bamboo earrings are more than a L.L. Cool J song.
How refreshing it was to find out it’s in my blood! It’s a part of who I am… Egyptians that were not royalty were also buried wearing their hoop earrings, to enhance their beauty and appeal in their afterlife.
Hoop earrings are NOT a fashion trend but a fashion staple and a part of our history!
Happy Black History Month, Sistas! Let’s keep passing our fashion staples down through generations. I will be putting some bigger hoops in my daughter’s ears this month thanks to Grandma! (She hooked her up.) Make it a “THANG” as you put those earrings in your daughters’ ears. Teach them it’s their history and to sport those earrings with pride!