One thing that I always liked to see on a woman was big hoop earrings. When I was dating and married to my ex (born 1957) I always tried to nudge her towards big-ish hoops but she told me they were “slutty”. Was this something that was understood by women of that era? Was she just weird? She had more than the standard two piercings, apparently that wasn’t “slutty”.
I’d say vulgar rather than slutty.
I always thought of it as bohemian.
My mother actually nearly had a cow (a term in use at the time) when I got my ears pierced as a teen in the mid-60s. Forget hoops; piercing just Was Not Done.
Oddly enough I got a pair of diamond earrings from one of my great-aunts, who bought them in El Paso Texas in the 1920s, for $400. (The receipt was in the box. It’s still in the box.)
But this great-aunt was the only one of her generation who had pierced ears and she was widely considered to be strange, if not mentally ill. Evidence: She liked to travel and live in exotic places; she did not get married; she pierced her ears; she took a “man’s job” on more than one occasion (gardener, newspaper reporter). Personally I think she was about the only sane one.
My mother also had apoplexy when I tried to wear patterned stockings with my miniskirt. “Only really bad girls wear those.” “Mom–everyone wears them. Everyone.” “So if everyone jumped off a roof would you jump off too?”
But back to the earrings: it’s a look. I happen to like it and wear hoops a lot. The bigger they get, the more like I am to lose one, so mine are mostly approximately the circumference of a quarter. And I think they are a lot more mainstream now than they were, say,30 years ago.
Interesting question. When I was a teen in the 1970s, it was socially acceptable to pierce one’s ears; it was kind of a rite of passage for girls. I was somewhere between 16 and 19 when I got mine pierced.
I don’t know about hoops per se, but I think big, “flashy” earrings of any sort were considered a little “out there.” I wouldn’t go so far as to say “slutty,” but “bohemian” has the right ring to it.
I don’t think slutty either, though my mother may have. It was a huge battle to get her to agree to have the doctor pierce my ears, and then the closest I got to hoops were demure little “keepers”.
I definitely understood my mother thought pierced ears in general were exotic (and somehow naughty?) for young ladies of British extract.
I suspect bohemian, vulgar and slutty are all the same with different flavors. Big hoops were not (and still really aren’t) something you wear out to dinner at the Country Club with your husband’s conservative boss - not something you’d wear today to a conservative job interview.
But out dancing, to a party, or just hanging - they can look very nice and appropriate.
(I’ve only worn anything close to a large hoop once. If they get caught on ANYTHING, it can be really painful. Including if they get caught in your hair and then your hair gets caught in something. But clothes, small kids, pens if you tend to fidget near your face with them, and sex are all danger zones for big hoops)
Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the really big ones I sometimes see, I mean maybe 2-3 inch diameter. Smaller than the top of a soda can.
Definitely bohemian and definitely not a mainstream look back then unless affected a bohemian look and/or you had an artsy-type job or such.
I wore hoops, although not huge ones. I never thought they were slutty at all. Then again I always did what I wanted without too much thought about what other people thought. I never liked the real big ones because as said above, they were always getting caught in something.
Getting my ears pierced was a big thing though. My father refused to let us, saying only heathens got their ears pierced - we were Catholic. However, my non-Catholic cousins were told they couldn’t get their ears pierced because only Catholics got their ears pierced.
Anyway, my younger sister and I walked up to the doctor’s office, handed over our $5 allowance and got our ears pierced, the $5 included the price of the earrings. Eventually my father saw the earrings and was he ever pissed! Wasn’t long after that though that he took me shopping for a nice pair of earrings, little jade balls in 14k gold, $16 marked down from $20.
As one roughly in the age range, I’d say it may just be an attitude from the region where she grew up. It was considered more tasteful and “classy” to wear small stud earrings, but not slutty to wear bigger, dangly ones.
Those are pretty huge. The largest ones I wear are about half an inch in diameter.
I only wore huge hoops once… got my butt length hair tangled in them and said “never again”. I was just a kid who had went to bed wearing them.
I do have a giant pair that look like XMas balls (blue) that I may wear come XMas… but I will probably go with the French hook beaded Santas. Just because I’ll be too conscious of big dangly things by my face.
—jokes starting in 3, 2, 1…
I was a kid in the 60’s and 70’s. I had to beg my mother’s permission to get my ears pierced, as her sentiment on the matter was that it was something only “whores and gypsies” had done. When I finally was allowed to get the piercings, it was under the condition that I would only wear studs - no hoops or danglers. To this day I’m still inhibited by the memory of my mom’s voice when I even consider wearing “slutty” hoops. So, yeah - it was a sign of the times.
Yeah, those in your second and third links are exactly what I wore back in the day. I don’t think those are “slutty” at all. I thought they made me look carefree and artsy. Or so I hoped.
That is so funny! That’s exactly what my cousins were told. “Oh, no, only Catholic girls get their ears pierced.” And I guess all the Catholic girls were being told the opposite.
And yet we all ended up with pierced ears…
My mother always said, “You might as well wear a bone through your nose!” When I asked about getting my ears pierced.
She gave in and I got mine pierced when I was around 15. At the GOOD jeweler’s, with REAL gold. Not at a trashy place in the mall. I was also only allowed to wear studs.
She held out on the “bone through your nose” statement, until she thought she had lost a large, solid 18K love-knot clip-on earring (someone found it and it was returned to her). That weekend, she had her ears pierced, and had all of her good earrings converted to pierced by the jeweler.
Years later, when I got my navel pierced, the woman doing the piercing actually did have a bone through her nose, and I giggled madly.
I had to think about this for a day or so, because it does ring a bell, however faintly. I was born in the mid 60s. I’m from a fairly backwater area. I remember my mom & sister getting their ears pierced around 1973-1974 by a woman wielding a needle and an ice cube. This woman was prominent in the local church so apparently ear-piercing had become acceptable. The thing is, over the first few years of the 1970s A LOT changed. Girls in my town went from wearing dresses to school every day (slacks underneath on cold days, to be taken off once you got inside) to wearing dress pants to church. Guys who had been required to have their hair cut over their ears had hair down to their shoulders–and they weren’t considered hippies. It was controversial unto taboo to wear anything suggesting an American flag on your clothing–and by suggesting, I mean red and white stripes on one part of your shirt and white stars on blue on another–then suddenly as 1976 approached it became patriotic. I’m not saying it was like this all over the US, but in talking to others from small towns, this seems to have been common.
And in all these changes, a lot of old…known things, as we shall call them, got swept away and were forgotten or only half-remembered by those who hadn’t been fully indoctrinated. When I read the OP, it did jar a faint memory of hearing about sluts and their wide hoop earrings, and also that only whores paint their toe nails red. I’m thinking there was also something about ankle bracelets. You really got to wonder, how sex obsessed does your mind have to be to find hoop earrings suggestive?
It isn’t that they are suggestive. Its that the women who wore them (including my grandmother) were carefree, artistic and bohemian. Who is more likely to put out, a woman who is carefree, artistic and bohemian or one who is uptight, unimaginative and conservative?