There are many rites of passage as a kid, but if your parents were on the stricter side, chances are you missed out on a few. While there were practices like sleepovers and owning makeup kits, one of the biggest things was piercings. And the struggles of not piercing your ears were paramount. What did it matter if you had the most jelly bracelets or the latest butterfly clips on the market if you couldn't wear earrings?
For me, it was such a bummer not getting to join in or collect all the quirkiest plastic earrings like the rest of my pals. I'd show up naked-eared at the homes of besties, only to watch longingly as my friends toyed with their alien studs or colored gems. They got to look all grownup and mature-like, while I was very much stuck in the kids section. While my friends tolerated my fashion faux-pas with great patience and understanding, a piece of me was annoyed with my parents for not letting me get this simple thing done.
Like how much does a kid have to beg? Because of that, we had to put up with a lot of major injustices. Below are 11 struggles of not being allowed to pierce your ears as a kid or pre-teen.
1. You Didn't Get To Prove You Weren't A Baby
While kids left and right were getting their ears pierced in grade school, you were stuck faking the whole trend with those stick-on bubble earrings. And when you were slowly making the transition from kiddo to tween, kids liked to point out how much more mature and grownup they were than you — and the ear piercing thing was a great way to do that. As in, "You're still a baby, and that's why your parents won't let you."
I'll show you who's a baby, Tiffany. I'LL SHOW YOU.
2. You Couldn't Show Off Your Bling
While kids were experimenting with dangly little earrings and studs in different rhinestone colors, you couldn't bring any swag up to the table. Instead you had to settle for the usual slap bracelets and Looney Tunes watches, which, let's face it, were so passé.
3. You Couldn't Hawk Horror Stories
Like swapping war stories, you had to sit silently while eating your PB&J at lunch time as girls traded tales of piercing horror. One swore it hurt more than falling off a slide, while another shared how her ears actually turned green. Meanwhile, you had nothing to contribute.
4. Your Clip-Ons Sucked
They made your ears hurt after just a measly 10 minutes and they fell off if you ran too fast during recess. Not to mention they made you look like you'd been rifling through your grandma's jewelry box.
On top of that, everyone looked at you knowingly whenever you wore a pair — it was the grade school equivalent of sporting a puff bra.
5. You Couldn't Buy Any Kitschy Pairs During Field Trips
If you went to a pumpkin farm, you could have gotten Halloween-inspired earrings. If you went to the zoo, you had to endure the bus ride back while listening to how Kelly and Anna got matching dolphin studs. On that one trip to the botanical gardens, you couldn't buy the flower earrings because what would you even do with them? The injustice of it all.
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6. Or You Owned Some Earrings Just To Have It Rubbed In
Whether your grandparents sent you earrings for your birthday, or you got solid gold ones for some kind of kid milestone (hello, graduating kindergarten) chances are you had at least one pair of real earrings kicking around your room. And the presence of them only made your situation more bitter.
7. You Had Zero Chance Of Getting Into The Cool Crowd
Grade school was Mad Max-like times — it was a place where even having the wrong kind of stickers in your sticker book could send you into social exile. So not having your ears pierced — something that was definitely seen as a rite of passage — ensured that you would be scorned in one way or another.
8. Chances Are Your Crush Liked Earrings
Whether your crush was a boy or girl, chances are they thought a human with earrings was a notch above the rest. And so you had to spend hours of angrily writing in your diary, working out the fact that so-and-so would never be the love of your life.
9. You Missed A Glamorous Step In School Dances
No dangly earrings or rubix zirconium glamour for you. That section of Claire's was useless.
10. You Couldn't Get Into Hoops
When you finally hit middle school and hoops were becoming a thing thanks to Jenny From The Block, you weren't able to dabble in the trend. It's not like clip-on hoops were a thing, and so you were doomed to be woefully unfashionable.
11. You Didn't Know What The Trends Were
Since you didn't have earrings, you didn't really keep your ear to the ground concerning its trends. And what is surviving those tween years other than keeping up with what was cool? From little alien studs to dangly watermelon slices, you were missing out.
And for that, you can never, ever forgive your parents.
Images: The WB (6); Nickelodeon (3); NBC (1); Epic Records (1)