Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Bigger The Hoops, The Bigger The Whore

Women that wear large hoop earrings have a reputation for being slutty. I was recently fortunate enough to be taught the expression "The bigger the hoops, the bigger the whore." Most men have not heard this aphorism before, because it is not usually featured in male-female conversation. Instead it is saved for instances when Girl A steals Girl B's man in 'da club, when Girl A is then verbally relegated by Girl B to the circle of skanks and hookers. Oh, and it's because Girl A was wearing hoop earrings.

Anyway the expression is completely false. The accusation is something akin to Man A calling Man B - who gets a lot of attention from girls - a "douchebag," when the truth is that the Man A is just jealous because he doesn't know how to attract women. Being able to attract women doesn't make a man a douche any more than hoop earrings make a woman a prostitute; plenty of men are successful with women without disrespecting them and there are countless examples of gorgeous women that wear big earrings but aren't hoe-bags. Some women that wear them might be slutty, but that is only because slutty women get one thing right  they know how to make themselves hot. It isn't because hoop earrings look bad.

But I digress. Besides giving me an opportunity to share what is now my favorite expression of all time, the point of this post was to attempt to explain why hoop earrings make a girl look good. Though first I should elaborate slightly: it isn't only hoop earrings that make a girl look good. Hoops will almost always improve a look because they are almost always large. Size is the essential element. Obviously the earrings have to match the rest of the girl's look: her face shape, the length of her neck etc.; but all else being equal, it's a case of the bigger the better. The effect is extremely subtle due to the proliferation of earrings, and especially because women (collectively) wear such a variety of sizes. Men will not know why they are an extra 5 to 10 % attracted to you when you are wearing them, but our ignorance only makes the effect all the more powerful.

(An aside: I have never seen a woman wearing large earrings and found it unattractive, or thought she would look better without them. But on numerous occasions I have seen a girl wear them for the first time, and I found her noticeably more attractive. This does not mean there is no limit to who can benefit from them; but be liberal in deciding whether or not you can pull it off.)

Although it is ostensibly the reason for this post, why large earrings make a woman so much more attractive is still a bit of a mystery to me - and the world at large, apparently, as I've recently learned from asking many woman about their choice of earrings, and trying all kinds of different internet searches for an explanation.

I even did an experiment of my own in an effort to rid the world of such a confounding problem. I searched the internet for pictures of women with large earrings, and removed the earrings using a photo editor. Then I compared the two pictures side-by-side to see if I could determine what it was exactly about large earrings that improved a woman's look. Here are a few examples:

Kim Kardashian

Random Earring Model


Emmanuelle Chriqui

Katy Perry

There is no question that all of these girls look better on the left than they do on the right, but why is still not obvious to me. Here are the explanations I have considered:
  1. The size of the earrings has a diminishing effect on the size of a woman's neck, making it look more slender and therefore sexy.
  2. The low position of the earrings draw the eyes down, emphasizing the neck and collarbone - a highly feminine and sexy area of a woman's body.
  3. The earrings offer balance to the face, which is otherwise dominated by the eyes, eyebrows and nose.
After looking back and forth between the photos, it was clear to me that the earrings do draw the viewer's eyes downward. This would suggest number two; however, I did a quick check by cutting the pictures off below the chin (i.e. removing the neck and collarbones) and seeing whether the earrings still made the girls look more attractive. They did. So although one and two might still be partially truthful, they are definitely not the only or the most important factors. Number three seems the most plausible based on my observations of the pictures, but I don't understand why the face needs or even benefits from this supposed "balance." And if a girl has pretty eyes (as Katy Perry does), wouldn't "balancing them out" make her less attractive?

I'm stumped. Any thoughts?
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Note: In a later post, I shared an answer that seemed accurate: Why Large Earrings Are Attractive


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2. How to Make Any Outfit Better
3. Your Skin Color Matters

42 comments:

  1. Accesorizing makes anything look better. Imagine a frosted cupcake next to a frosted cupcake with rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top. The 2nd choice is much more appealing i'd say. And of course the bigger the more easily recognized. Most girls accesorize, but women who want to be "noticed" definitely wear the more bigger pieces.

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    1. I love hoop earrings and long dangly earrings on women. Here is my take on it:

      A picture with a frame is usually more attractive then without a frame. Go to any classic art museum (such as the National Gallery of Art) and you'll see that the frames are large and ornate. They are designed to bring out the best in the picture.

      Earrings act as a frame to the face. Larger earrings, besides being attractive in themselves, provide a better embellished frame to a face. They bring out the best features of the face, regardless of what those might be (whether eyes, lips, nose, etc.). Hoop earrings and dangly earrings are a much better frame, size-wise, than smaller earrings, and thus add much more value to the attractiveness of the face and thus to the person. (While there are those who may disagree, attractiveness correlates to one's paycheck. One study showed that women who wore tasteful makeup earned on average 30% more than those who don't.)

      In addition, hoops and dangly earrings add life and movement to the movements of the wearer reflecting showers of light in the direction of the viewer that is intriguing to watch. Consider a campfire as a comparison. When the fire is blazing, sending sparks into the air, it's fascinating to watch. Note how many people gather around to watch and if they are close enough, to enjoy the heat. However, when the fire dies down to just a few embers (besides the lack of heat), not many people stay around to watch it. I like chatting with my wife, but if she's wearing hoops, I am fascinated and can listen forever. "Yes dear", "I totally agree with you…" and I'm totally delighted to please her, because she's visually pleasing me.

      Small studs and earrings can't do either of the above when worn as the primary earrings. They can't frame the face adequately, are often hidden from view by longer hair, and in general, they can't amplify the movement of the head and shower light back to the viewer. Let's be honest, they just aren't as fascinating to the viewer.

      Good quality CZs, diamonds and the like can reflect light back in greater proportion than the size of the reflective facet, so some size amplification takes place with those. Last weekend at church, I caught the reflection of a sparkle off the face of a 40ish year old lady as the couple talked to another. "Hey, she got her nose pierced. Cute!" Didn't say anything to the wife though. But it was noticeable, even 30 feet away.

      So is there a time and place for the smaller studs? Sure, when one is swimming, scuba diving, or engaging in sports or activities where the loss of an earring would be inconvenient, or where wearing larger earrings poses a job risk (i.e. working in daycare where the kids could pull out your earrings).

      But personally, I like a hoop or dangle to be accessorized with one or two graduated CZ studs up the lobe? Why? They add reflective power, but like that fire, they add fascination. And men like to be fascinated (and many women do too). Very cute!

      Lastly, large hoops are feminine (you'll never see men (other than those in drag) wearing them) and more men are attracted to the feminine than not.

      Great discussion going!

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    2. Interesting. That was going to be my next question - are studs or small hoops equally as attractive or is it just the hoops or long earrings? You answered that very nicely w/ the observation that dangly earrings offer more fascination.

      I don't know if guys even consider this, but for many women I think the size of our earrings is jsut a personal preference. I, for one, don't really like the feel of the weight of a longer earring, so usually wear smaller earrings or even none at all. Do all guys prefer larger/longer earrings or is this a personal preference thing like it is for women?

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  2. My guess: earrings (long, dangly, big hoop earrings) are a sexual signal. They are something typically female, like boobs, so they increase your attraction.

    Sure, some men wear earrings (and have moobs) but not on that scale. Men would wear studs or tiny hoops -- but I would guess you don't find studs and tiny hoops particularly arousing on women either.

    I like your blog very much!

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  3. The book What Not to Wear 1: The Rules recommends that women with short, thick necks always wear dangling earrings because these accessories will bring the "line" of the neck up to the ears instead of stopping at the jaw, which then also has a "slenderizing" effect.

    I don't think the women sampled here have that problem with their necks, however, as they look just fine without their earrings!

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  4. I went back and looked at the photos and noticed that the earrings draw the attention to the woman's mouth. so even if you are taking attention away from the eyes, the earrings reinforce the mouth.

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  5. I agree that it's drawing attention to the lips, I think that's the main gain.

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  6. Two theories:

    1) Large earrings signal flirty-ness and playfulness.

    2) They spice up the "hair+face" combo in the same manner as a woman wearing all black who adds a red belt or bag or shoes. Or a woman wearing a black and white dress with black shoes will add something colorful to the outfit to not look too plain/dull. Sort of in the "variety is a spice of life" department. Actually, maybe this theory is a cause for theory 1.

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  7. Wow, this is great. I never heard that expression but my hoops have been in hiding for a while. I am definitely going to start putting them to use again.

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  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjvXmpOTtdQ

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  9. It is advertizing! Hoop earrings substitute for cock rings. So if the hoop will fit, you may wear it. If not, you don't have a chance!

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  10. I love this blogg!! Will definitely look into my jewelry box next time I'm out the door!!

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  11. I love it!Having jewelry is a geat. Because it brings us satisfaction and confident as their physical appearance.Thanks for publishing,

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  12. I was all ready to tell you what a big a-hold you were until I read this all the way through and found this post both hilarious and true. Kudos. For reals.

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  13. To do your photo experiment correctly, you'd also have to do a batch of photos in which you add the earrings. The ones on the left look better could simply be because of the unnatural editing.

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  14. So if I buy my wife a few pairs of Bigger Hoops then she has she will attract more attention from guys? I hope it does I have been telling her she gets checked out a lot while we are out.This is a great write up.

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  15. The trashy hoops are the really thin kind. KK's in the above photo are fine. EC's are fine too.

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  16. I agree with earrings and jewelry in general (men don't wear it, they can alter your look etc), but not hoops. Doesn't matter if they're thin or thick. I don't think it's as simple as women using the "whore" phrase because they're jealous. Hoop earrings have a 'gypsy appeal', and have always been associated with lower class/tacky women. Think of some female celebrities that are known for being elegant - Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Diane Kruger. These women would NEVER wear hoop earrings, and the reason for that is obviously not that they don't take care of themselves or that they don't know what looks good. It's just the opposite of their image.
    Of course women are more sensitive to what is 'slutty' than men are, but some men do prefer elegant women and for women who want to set themselves apart as well-dressed, I'd go for other types of dangling earrings - not hoops.

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    1. I respectfully disagree that "Hoop earrings …have always been associated with lower class/tacky women."

      That may have been somewhat true years ago, but you will find the first lady, Michelle Obama, and most female news commentators wearing larger hoops. Most of the female professionals on my staff including those with Masters degrees and a PhD wore hoops. I have periodically done informal observational surveys of the women that I encounter over the course of a day and it usually runs about 50% of women are wearing hoop earrings of some sort, sometimes even a higher percentage. Of course it’s the trend, but there's a reason for it. They make the wearer look great!

      BTW: I discovered an interesting fact. Women who make money hiring out their bodies generally are the first appearance trendsetters in any culture. They need to find something different, something unique to make them stand out from other women, to turn the men on and draw their customers in. So they were the first adopters of French manicures, short skirts, pierced belly buttons, nose studs, hoops, tattoos and super high heels. But as others see these early adopters, they think or say, "hey, that's cute" or "I like that look" and either choose to wear it (or in the case of a guy, encourage his girl to try that look). You've all heard a mom say to her daughter, "You can't go out looking like that. You look like a slut!" The reality is that what sluts wore in your mom's day is what many daughters are wearing today (and it's still having the effect of turning on guys). It's the moving target of what is stand-out attractive. My wife and I walked a shopping mall a few months ago, and over 95% of the high-heeled shoes being offered were the supersized heels that "sluts" and porn stars favored 5-15 years ago. Nothing in the 3 inch heel range. Girls are literally being forced into some of these looks simply by limited availability.

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  17. This woman has the best body out of the celebs. Perfect proportions.

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  18. I wore large complicated earrings in the past, when I was in college. I stopped wearing earrings at all because I react badly to metals, and they used to cause my earlobes to get swollen and itchy. But, I know how it feels to wear large, dangly earrings, and so when I see people wearing them, I empathize with the sensation of having something heavy hanging from your earlobes. When you're wearing heavy earrings, you are constantly aware of the sensation in your earlobes. Earlobes are, for some people, a highly sensitive erogenous zone.

    I can see what you are saying about the visual effects, about visual balance and all that, but for me it is more of a physical empathy effect, the awareness that the earlobes are feeling something. The earrings also touch against the sides of the neck, another erogenous zone. When you watch these earrings moving and swinging, you are watching somebody whose erogenous zones are being stimulated by an object.

    That's just my theory. I don't know if that's the reason why people like the earrings or not. But people tend to empathize with people in the images they see. You tend to feel what they are feeling, if only slightly, as though your own body is experiencing what they are experiencing.

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    1. Interesting. I'd never thought about that before but I can see where you are coming from.

      btw have you ever tried non-metallic hoops? In fact, most likely the problem is the magnetic fields being created by ferrous metals. If you choose a non-ferrous metal, you might not have the same problems.

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    2. I never tested anything nonmetallic, as in, for the part that actually pokes through the earlobe. If I had been strongly committed to the idea that I absolutely must wear earrings, then I might have kept on trying different experiments to see if I could find anything that wasn't uncomfortable. But I was sort of indifferent to earrings and didn't really mind quitting them. I am one of those hypersensitive people that have a bad reaction to just about everything, even if the reaction is merely 'discomfort,' so I just don't wear any jewelry nowadays, even jewelry that is designed for metal-sensitive people. I never thought about it being possibly related to magnetic fields, though.

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    3. The issue with most metal irritations is the nickel in the alloy. For example, a gold stud that is less than 24k gold has some nickel alloy in it. My wife had very sensitive/easily irritated ears as well. It's easily solved by coating the posts of your earrings with clear nail polish. The dried lacquer coating prevents metal ion migration into your skin, and thus no more irritation. Try it - it really works. Be aware that you might have to recoat posts every year or two, if the butterfly clutch scrapes the coating off.

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  19. In the fashion catier pendents driven world, there is no dearth of fashionable accessories. However, they come with mens jackets exorbitant price tags. Here comes the significance of discount cheap gucci handbags in the picture. These discount handbags are classy for professional chanel classic bag women as they suit their flamboyant personality. They are inexpensive and stylish with a touch of excellence and uniqueness hermes bag outlet . Glamorous is the right word that describes the authentic designer handbags. It surely gives you a reason to celebrate special louis vuitton monogram canvas moments in your life with great élan.

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  20. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that earrings create the illusion that the wearer's features are more concentrated in the lower part of the face, thus making them more attractive. Children have big foreheads with their eyes being about half way down their face. So this appearance equals youth, equals fertility. Supermodels eg Nathalia Vodianova, Lily Cole, Miranda Kerr have retained this facial structure into adulthood.

    Big earrings also contribute to the impression of facial symmetry and draw attention to the cheekbones. Also, as you age, your jawline becomes less defined. I'd say hoops draw attention to your jaw, so this is another way they make you look young. I'm just spouting pseudo psychology here but I think to varying degrees there is truth in all these points! I also agree with the comment about them being traditionally 'ghetto' and the appeal of the slutty edge they give an otherwise nice girl.

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    1. This is the most helpful comment on this post so far. It took 16 months, but I am putting my vote with this explanation as the right answer.

      Thanks.

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    2. back in earlier times, jewelry representd a woman's wealth/class and her ability to be able to adorn herself with finer things. i think that's what's attractive. both sets of women are beautiful. some looks are more elegant/classy while the hoops and bigger earrings are more playful. same goes with large statement pieces of jewelry such as necklaces, braceletts, rings. diamond studs. i see it as more of an appropriateness issue. to a business dinner i would not wear large hoops. to a club or go dancing, i would wear them. i don't know whether that says anything about the profession of the woman you'd likely be attracted to. certain hoops can be very trashy and cheap. there's a line between classy and elegant statement pieces and hoopxtravaganza.

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    3. You are missing the point here.

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  21. ON kim & katy they look better on earring model i think looks better without & on Emmanuelle Chriqui why would we even notice when we are trying to see if she is wearing a bra or not

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  22. Everytime you mention massive hoop earrings in your blog posts I cringe. You obviously have some personal fetish for them but most guys I know, and ALL girls agree that they're awful. Tacky and cheap as hell.

    Utterly 'chavvy', and no woman with a classy and feminine style would wear them.

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    1. We must know different guys...

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    2. I agree... if by classy and feminine you mean Hillary Clinton-esque... Most men would pass on the stuffy, "I have a stick-up-my-butt" look over the "I am fun, smart, AND sexy" look EVERYDAY. A lot of this comes down to who jewelry is for, men or women? Much like lingerie, make-up or sexy dancing, jewelry serves an anthropological purpose to draw attention from men through the use of visual display. Is that their ONLY purpose.... no... but it is their primary and their original purpose. If you want to say that all things that are attractive to men are "slutty" or "chavvy" (?) then I wish you luck in attracting a mate because I can tell you that (heterosexual) men will ALWAYS be visually attracted to women in a primal way that no amount of eschewing or debate can or will ever change. If ALLLLL girls agreed they were awful, then why are so many women wearing them? As a final statement I will say this... Michelle Obama IS ABSOLUTELY a classy, sexy woman. And it is her classiness that MAKES her sexy. So no earrings she wears can suddenly make her a cheap slut. However, your ability to judge ALLLL women who wear hoop earrings as cheap and classless is the bigger point here. Men aren't the ones defining women as cheap and slutty... WOMEN ARE.

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  23. All of the above posts mention "distraction" or "draw the eye".
    That's the truth.
    All of the comments and pictures emphasize that the face and it's expression needs a push.
    It's called a smile.
    Kim needs a smile. So does Katy.
    The earring model is attractive in her face (and smile) and desn't need the earrings.
    Emanuelle has posture problems and that dress is too distracting. Great face, but not helped by the earrings.

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  24. Big earrings draw attention to the face, sparkle to the eyes , jaw line and a woman's lips. I have worn large earrings forever. Most women don't seem to have the confidence to wear them. Many women say to me, " I love your earrings but how do you have the courage to wear them". They draw attention. Simple

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  25. My girl has nice big and thick hoops through her earlobes. The lobe had to be stretched for them. I am so enamored with her looks, that I am having a nice thick 1 1/4 hoop designed to be placed in her nose. Through the septum. The secret is that once it is squeezed shut it is permanently locked.
    It will be an great attention getter !

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  26. Not sure if this has already been said or not, but humans are attracted to symmetrical faces, and earrings add to facial symmetry. Also, it takes some of the attention away from the bottom half of the face, which makes it seem as though the bottom half is smaller, and the eyes bigger, which is another attractive feature. Also, it might just be a small signal for wealth - you don't need me to tell you that jewellery has historically been a sign of wealth, lol. Big hoops, do, however, have a tendency to be tacky, so I would caution against it. Earring size is hugely dependent on an individual's facial proportions, so you need to shop around. Thankfully I've found the PERFECT pair that are both formal/classy, and the perfect length and size to accentuate my face. Love them!

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  27. Ok, so I think I know the answer. Kind of taking a leap from your last point about balance and the eyes, I believe that rather than balance out the eyes, what earrings do is to ACCENTUATE the eyes. The reason this happens is because the only feature on the face that comes in pairs are the eyes. The nose, lips, chin, etc. only come solo and are centered on the face. So it's easy to lose sight of the eyes when you have all these other features drawing you to the center of the face. When wearing earrings, however, you are adding adding something else to the face that comes in a pair, which draws you to the other pair--the eyes. I took a look at the photos and noticed that I notice the eyes of the women much more when they are wearing earrings. But without earrings, I am drawn more to their nose. I, myself, have nice eyes but a prominent nose (not too big, though hehe) and my lips are cute but not huge. I notice that I look better in earrings. Probably because they bring out my strongest feature--my eyes =)

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  28. The bigger the sexist rant, the smaller the penis.

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  29. They add extra colour, shine and movement to women's face.

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  30. I have a thought. I am an artist. You can have many and varying dimensions in your painting but there will be a certain factor that will make all pieces of the whole balance out. The position of large earrings assimilate the face with the neck, and then transition from neck to breast. The earrings cause downward movement, and conversely, right back up to the face. Also people are attracted to shiny things. They are much like a fishing lure.

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