From 2" to 0" in a few minutes…

Ear reconstruction is getting more common all the time. I’m not sure how I feel about it, because to me it says one of two things: either a lot of people don’t consider the long term implications of permanent body modification, or ear stretching has a lot more physical complications than I believe it has. Anyway, even though removal is an option (be it with lobes or tattoos), I hope people go into body modification experiences with the idea that they’re a life-long commitment. As with most things, it’s a lot harder to climb down than it is to climb up!

That said, if you find yourself in Iquique, Chile, and you’re in need of smaller lobes, visit Felipe Silva at Crew Tattoo. Below is a 2″ ear loop that he removed, both before, and healed.

PS. See also: ear stretching disaster results in removal, another 50mm to 0mm lobe reduction, and of course BME’s lobe reconstruction/removal gallery.

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged , , , by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

49 thoughts on “From 2" to 0" in a few minutes…

  1. why does it say 0″ in the title?
    i’m guessing many people don’t take it as life-long commitment, i know some people who deliberately start stretching things knowing that they will have to remove it eventually…

  2. My old piercer had dreams of going to med school and being a doctor, and he had 3/4″ earlobes. He always said that when it came time to look professional, he’d be happy to get them cut off. Not my attitude, but there are plenty out there like that.

  3. “I’m not sure how I feel about it”

    I’m not sure either. I know I notice a lot of people I interact with talking about stretching as a sort of hobby or urge or something to do when bored — and well, on the one hand, “an urge” may be a drive in a person who really *needs* to continue modifying her body. So for that person, it’s good to listen to whatever pull she feels.

    But on the other — it makes me wonder when I see all these people going “oh yeah, I never meant to but now I gotta stretch up!” and then four months later “I want to wear dangly earrings again WAAAAAAAAAH how do I shrink this?” Clearly in those cases “the urge” wasn’t that same kind of need.

    Eh. I stretched up further than I thought I would (which wasn’t much at all) too — but to this day I’m still at 8ga more than half a year after stretching to that size precisely because I’m not sure what more I want, and I’m not just going to do something because I can.

  4. The removal work is amazing, however I can’t help but think WTF when I see them with pierced lobes again.

  5. i think it’s actually very reflective of a lot of the idea behind body mods—the fluidity and changeability of the body. it’s sad to see someone’s hard work at a body mod seemingly thrown away when someone gets a stretched lobe removed or a tattoo covered up or what have you, but i don’t think it is by default a sign that someone didn’t plan around permanence like they perhaps should have; permanence may never have been the plan.

    i can see the defensiveness though that might come up when one person is holding off for years on choosing the perfect mod for them to have the rest of their life and seeing someone just jump in blindly and get whatever it is removed a year later; it is a different approach to body mods that is very similar in approach to casual disregard for the meaning behind body mods. i just think it’s problematic to assume that that’s always what is going on.

    particularly as many bod mods have specific cultural signifiers that a person may not learn about till after they have been modded.

  6. I didn’t read the title and seriously thought someone had their ear removed…

    Someone tell me that first pic doesn’t look disembodied.

  7. Shannon wrote:

    “either a lot of people don’t consider the long term implications of permanent body modification, or ear stretching has a lot more physical complications than I believe it has.”

    I think these are related issues, insofar as it appears to me that many of the complications from stretching result from people not learning enough about or thinking through the ways in which they try to stretch their lobes, resulting in these complications. The current fashionability of stretched lobes only exacerbates the situation, especially when it inspires people to try stretching too far too fast in the interest of getting ‘the look’ quicker. I think the same could probably be said of tattoos and other piercings as well. A possible answer? Outreach and education!

  8. you know what, this is just totally messed up. and that’s putting it nicely. do people not think? can we all say – instant gratification. patience people, really. you know, like gnr once preached. have a little of it, please.

  9. Yeah, it did look like someone got their ear removed at first, lol. I was like, “WTF???? ……wait. That can’t be right.” Then I read it, and looked closer, lol.

  10. Changes happen.
    I think her reconstructed ear looks great.

    I’m in the process of naturally shrinking mine, at about a 6 from 7/8ths of an inch less than 4 months ago.

  11. Damn, I could never get rid of my 2″ babies :( I find it to look strange when people get there lobes reconstructed to go back to “normal”…I mean, after stretching to 2″, doesn’t that seem weird to just look in the mirror and have whole lobes again? I couldn’t do it. I guess some people see modification in a different light than others. It’s hard to understand the perspective of other people[I mean, most of us have been asked by other people why we do this to our bodies, yah know?] But it’s that persons lobes, not mine, so im not worried about it.

  12. I can that I partially understand the woman in the picture.
    I’m in college right now, and I love piercings. However, I’m studying to become a teacher – one of the more conservative careers out there.
    I’m just beginning to stretch, and I’m at 14g. I’ve talked to my piercer and done my research – I know that I’m not going beyond 2 or 0g, and I’m going very, very slow. I know near the end of my final year at college, I’ll be taking it out and letting it heal.
    Yes, right now, I’m intending to stretch for the next few years and then letting them heal back. But isn’t it amazing that our body can heal back after all that?
    I don’t think I could go so far as reconstruction surgery, but good for this girl for doing what she feels. Her ear looks just great!

  13. my camara does not have flash, one was taken with artificial light and the other with solar light, it is the same ear, in my iam watches the right ear too.


    Felipe Silva

  14. the removal and reconstruction here looks MUCH better then the other reconstruction that was posted before in another modblog entry.

  15. Sadly I am sure in a few years I am going to have to remove my lobes as well. Not that I want to, but going through college and grad school is going require changes. Its not impossible to fight the odds and get a job with stretched lobes but it is complicated.
    As far as I am concerned the reconstruction is a touchy subject. If we could all be as modified as we want and get the jobs we deserve it would be ideal.
    Maybe years down the road there will be a more acceptable view of modifaction, but as for now its too much for some to handle.

  16. Poor girl.
    I must say very nice neat repair job, looks nice with the ear rings in.

  17. Ummm funny.. Id give to have my lobes at least at an inch and a half and she fixed em lol… but it is an amazing job and as long as she is happy all good

  18. wickedgame6 yes it is weird to go from beautifully stretched ears to next to nothing. Especially when it happens rapidly. But you know… everyone has their reasons.

    I’ve been stretching mine since I was 18 (am 22 now) and just decided one day that it wasn’t right anymore.

  19. What an excellent job!

    Although I can’t say that I’m not a little disappointed by all the earlobe reductions going on, I’m basically okay with it. Life goes on.

    Sometimes, life takes us where we least expect it. Often, I’ve found that it’s not societal expectations that drive these reverse-modifications, but just a change in perspective with life. Thankfully, most of us don’t act on every impulse and urge, but some people do, and they find themselves with 2″ ears and no idea how they got there. Removal is an option.

    As you said, Shannon, if a body part offends you, chop it off! I don’t think there should be a double-standard between a part we were born with, and a part that we created ourselves artificially.

    At my largest, my ears were about 1+1/8″ – not huge, but well past being able to shrink back entirely. For no particular reason, I haven’t worn jewelry in years. I don’t find that I miss having stretched ears or wearing jewelry at all! I mean, my ears are a part of me, but at the same time, they don’t define me, and I am not my modifications.

  20. My tattoos mark particular moments, or how I was feeling at particular times – and I’ve always known that if one becomes irrelevant (not just in the past, entirely irrelevant) I’ll feel happy as I get it covered up. Why can’t a reversal be a mod just like a stretching?

    For example, I have a tattoo commemorating a weekend when I felt able to easily control my OCD (which is ordinarily in the “very severe” bracket apparently). The weekend happened to be a heavy metal festival. If, by 30, I’m miraculously cured of OCD, I’ll cover it. If I’m not so keen on metal by 30, I’ll cover it with another tat that’s positive about my mental state.

    People shouldn’t be so uptight – reversed lobes/covered tattoos only need to have made the wearer happy for a while to be worth it.

  21. I can admit, I am a tad biased in the sense that I really love stretched ears, but that is some great work. I don’t know if I could ever go back and see myself with “normal” lobes ever again.

    As for whoever commented on the teacher bit…it is possible to camouflage those lobes (up to an inch anyways). I know several teachers who have stretched ears (none in excess of 3/4″), but they use those silicone “hider” plugs. I’m not saying that it was the easiest path for them to take, but they did it.

  22. I’ll just clarify that I REALLY know that I’ll still adore body mods in 10 years’ time – otherwise I’d have to have a giant tattoo saying “I hate tattoos”.

  23. I don’t see what the problem is — earlobe reconstruction is just people modifying their bodies as they see fit. Just because ear stretching is “permanent” insofar as it cannot be corrected without minor surgery does not necessitate the idea that ear stretching in the twenty first century is permanent. People who get reconstructive surgery on their ears do not necessarily lack foresight — they either have extenuating circumstances or merely have tired of the aesthetic of it.

    Not every body-mod has to be spiritual.

  24. Stretching your lobes is body modification. Cutting them is stil body modification. And I can’t think one mod is better than another.
    In my opinion it’s not necessarily a matter of “going back”, but more “looking different”.

    Of course, it’s easier and safer not to stretch at all, and I don’t think that you should stretch saying to youself “oh nevermind, i can just cut them off if I get bored”. Personnally (I emphasize on this word : p) I just have OGa lobes and I won’t go further before I’m 100% sure I will love my stretch lobes all my life. That implies at least finishing my studies and get a job.

  25. to Fielipe Silva, thats some outstanding work, it puts alot of the reconstruction from doctors and cosmetic surgeons that have been on here to shame.

    I plan on having my right lobe reconstructed sometime in the future (hopefully soon) I was stupid and wanted to go big and do it fast and fucked my lobe up real bad in the process, I don’t want to go back to having normal lobes I want to start stretching once the righty is healed and ready for it again. I think alot of people don’t think about it as being permanent, I sure did’nt when I first started but it I had very little info and not many people that I knew had stretched lobes and the ones that did gave me shit advice like using electrical tape and padlocks…my stupid ass fault and now I’m paying for it.

  26. I had my earlobes removed a few years ago. They looked positively hideous (IMHO) from poor stretching techniques early on. I regret not having more patience, but I don’t regret stretching them, even though I ultimately wound up removing them.

    Piercings were only accessories for me; as mentioned previously, I also simply tired of the aesthetic. I enjoyed them while they were in their prime.

  27. It looks like the new lobe piercing is a little low? (haven’t read all the comments, I will soon, just in a rush.)

  28. I’ve taken my plugs out after stretching for about 10 years, I’ve never gone past a 3/4, I will have my lobes worked on because I find that gaping sagging hole in ears very unattractive. It was great while it lasted minus the infection.

  29. “I didn’t read the title and seriously thought someone had their ear removed…”

    hahahaha me too!

  30. Hha, i thought they had their whole ear removed too….along with the rest of us.

  31. I don’t see how its so difficult to get a job with stretched lobes, as long as they are on the smaller size and the job allows jewelry. No one knows I have stretched lobes unless I have tunnels in or spirals. Simple solid plugs and you can’t tell. They’re only 0g but I don’t think I’ll have to get rid of them when I start working for real.

  32. It tells me that some people change their mind about constantly being stared at and being asked stupid questions. It may also come from the idea that it is holding you back career-wise, because the squares don’t take you seriously. Maybe it’s because the cops treat you like a suspect or a criminal when they pull you over and security guard folow you around in department stores. Unfortunately the majority of people have not yet evolved to the point where they don’t judge others by their appearance, and this is the majority of the apes in charge.

    I am contemplating “corrective surgery” for my stretched ears right now BTW.

  33. I have 1-1/2 inch ears, and i have been thinking of getting them “reconstructed”. I would miss them so much, it would be work of 5 years, gone. Whenever i think about it, i know i’d hate myself for doing it. I just wish it was that much of an impact on my life.

  34. Good work.
    I recently had my lobes “reconstructed” for personal reasons. I’m still employed and active in the body mod industry, but for me personally it was the right choice.

    Remember ya’ll, don’t be too quick to judge somebody based on how they chose to modify their body…

  35. Great looking work, Felipe. I was a little confused when I first looked at the pictures, because the first one looks like it’s a cut-off ear.

  36. I’m unclear: was this procedure precipitated by a problem with the stretching or was it ‘purely’ elective?

  37. I agree with #28.
    I don’t really see the big deal, either. Although stretched, it’s still a piercing. Piercings come and go. They get retired. I have 14, and love them all dearly, but I don’t wear jewelry in one of them and it’s probably completely closed by now. It makes me sad, yes, but I’ve moved beyond that one.
    I love my stretched lobes. I’m only at 02g even though I’ve been doing it for 4-5 years now. I don’t mind going slow. But all along I’ve known I might not have them forever. Some of my piercings I’d never dream of getting rid of, others I know they might disappear someday.
    Shannon & others, I’m curious if you feel the same way about old tattoos being covered up or removed? More meaning tends to go into tattoos, yet I don’t see people “mourning” the loss of the old tattoos as much as reconstructed earlobes.
    Everyone has a different reason for things. I think you should give them more credit than just “they didn’t think about it enough”/physical complications. And if they just changed their mind–so what? There’s nothing wrong with that.
    And not everything is permanent…

    Anyway, congrats to her and her new lobe. It looks great :)

  38. this is the reason i have not streached my ears, because how do you know that you would want them forever? they are a pretty visiple modification (i.e. on your head) and how do you know that in twenty years you wont want to wear sparkly dangly earing.
    great job on the reconstruction, i hope she is happy with them

  39. Wow that is a excellent reconstruct. Personally I’ve never liked stretched lobes, but that’s just me. Your body changes, your mind changes, your direction in life changes, as can your mods if you want them to. It happens.

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