Everyone makes mistakes, right?

ModBlog reader Brendan sent me this link of a news story NBC posted recently.  It seems that a plastic surgeon has invented a “new surgery” that can reverse the process of stretched ears.

When Daniel Bocchino was 16, he started stretching his ear lobes, expanding them until he had an inch-wide hole in each lobe. But by the time he was 19, he was so over the piercing trend known as ear gauging.  He removed the thick plugs from his lobes and slathered the holes with all kinds of weird ointments and creams, hoping the stretched-out skin would just shrink back up. But that’s not how it works — once that hole is stretched any wider than 6 millimeters, there’s no going back.

Glatt, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Morristown, N.J., says he’s seeing more people — mostly young people, and mostly men — who started gauging their ears as teenagers and are now joining the military, seeking a professional job or, like Bocchino, are simply over the fad, and are trying to figure out how to fill that hole back up.  The surgery takes about half an hour per ear, and costs anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, which Bocchino paid for himself with the money he makes as a tattoo artist. He says he’s happy about the results — the worst part of it all was probably telling his parents he regretted gauging his ears in the first place.

So it seems the good doctor, and the reporters at NBC have found a way to save all of the people with stretched lobes from the future embarrassment of facing the world when this silly fad is over.

Excuse me while I slam the palm of my hand into my forehead.

Color me shocked that a news outlet wouldn’t do research into a story before going to print with it.  Aside from the obviously degrading language being used towards those with stretched lobes, there’s also the fact that the article is claiming that this doctor is the first person to figure out how to “fix” the lobes, and charges quite a bit for the reconstruction.  It’s ok NBC.  Everyone makes mistakes.

For those of you who don’t feel that your choice of modifications is part of a fad, then kindly enjoy this image of a woman who is obviously upset with her lobes and is regretting ever having stretched them.  You can see the sadness in her eyes that tell the story of how the only job she can get because of her lobes is that of a cutlery rack.


Seriously.  That’s the saddest face I’ve ever seen.  There’s no way I could make a mistake about that.  Could I?

35 thoughts on “Everyone makes mistakes, right?

  1. That is so lame. I started stretching at 35. I don’t see it as a fad, it is a body mod that has been practiced in the world since the dawn of time that is just making it to the western world. If you are worried about being discriminated in hiring then just make sure you go for jobs that are open to it. I guess I am lucky that I am in a field (advertising) where people are allowed to be themselves.

  2. Ear gauging reversal surgery costs about $800 (for both ears) here. And I’m fairly certain that you can stretch past 6mm and have the skin shrink back to a whole that’s unnoticeable to most people.

  3. Want to close your ears?

    Solution: downsize just as slowly as you (should’ve) sized up.

    When you remove jewelry from a piercing and let it ‘close’ naturally, it’s only going to close so far on its own. If you gradually decrease the size of the ear and let it adapt each time, it should have a much more aesthetic end result.

  4. That’s rubbish! I’ve had my at 19/20mm for a few years now, and last year decided I wanted to go smaller! They closed up so you couldn’t even tell I’d had stretched lobes! Few weeks later decided I’d changed my mind and they went up to an 8mm easily (the loose ear was still loose XD)! I’m now back at 19mm, in a professional job and have no issues at all! I have short hair too, so nothing to hide them! None of my colleagues or customers have ever been offended; only intrigued!

    My reply to NBC is to do more research before they go publishing and see that anything past a 6mm will go back!

    Rant over…

  5. I work with Danny, the kid that was interviewed, he’s our apprentice. He said they totally added things he never said and omitted things he said that were positive about having stretched lobes. Go to the comment section, mine is #19. He’s supposed to be on tv tonight being interviewed I think at 7pm, should be interesting to see how much they chop the interview!

  6. I had my lobes stretched to over an inch and they’re relatively small now, still about a 6gauge but mostly unnoticeable. I’ve gone up and down about 3 times in my life, no problem. If I ever had to get a state job or something, I would just super glue them shut or buy skin toned plugs, way cheaper than surgery!

  7. I think the best part is when he says “A lot of these kids are smokers, and smokers tend not to heal as well, just to add insult to injury.”

    I forgot that with stretched lobes comes the desire to smoke.

  8. #4 – Going out on a limb here, and believe that he was suggesting the formaldehyde in cigarettes causes the body to heal at a slower rate. Just sayin’.

  9. A lot of people who would “never ever” not have stretched lobes have started letting them close or downright removing their lobelettes. I’d say the process of stretched lobe removal is starting to be more common to do for some practitioners than the once more popular “insta-stretch” of punching or cutting larger than average holes. As the fad (and I’ve been around long enough to see it become just that for some people) got them approval from the subculture they tried to be part of… they stretched faster and bigger, faster and bigger. The obvious regret factor is there.

    Hell, I started stretching my lobes in 1989 with the goal of “never ever” not having stretched lobes. In 2005, I removed my jewelry and have never looked back. In doing interviews for my “ear today, gone tomorrow” article (that I never seem to finish) I’ve found an unsurprising undertone of “modification superiority” towards those who choose to have their lobes removed. A feeling that you’re a “sellout” for reversing the modification. Total childishness, of course- but thats what happens when you have children stretching their lobes, I guess. :D

  10. HAHAHAHAHA!! wow! you’re comments are the best!

    ps: my name’s “Brendan.” But everyone messed it up so don’t bother apologizing. :p

  11. i had my ears at 1/2″, discovered there was basically no lobe left on one side, so decided to take out jewelry in order for holes to shrink, then got them sewn up, and am now half way into the stretching process again. (they were originally pierced when i was a baby, and i stretched on my own as a minor so my holes were lower to begin with, and continued to stretch downward. whereas i should have gotten them scalped beyond a certain point). anyways, they shrunk back down to…maybe a 10g, at the biggest…
    didnt take them out because i was ‘over the fad’ or for job purposes. took them out because they just wernt done properly from the beginning and were in bad shape of ripping if i didnt…
    moral of the story, dont pierce babies ears!

  12. Ralex-I paid $900 to have mine closed ($450 a piece). The plastic surgeon had never done it before, so I think I kinda got a discount? They look pretty good, too.

  13. happiest girl ever. but still you can’t deny that a few years ago there was a surge in the popularity of this kind of stretching, and now their popularity has ebbed, meanwhile being replaced by a surge in the popularity of procedures to remove and reconstruct stretched earlobes. in my opinion, there is definitely a section of people who get modifications based on what is popular and trendy at the time, and these people will become tired of their mods eventually when they no longer have the popular appeal that drew them to the mods in the first place. however of course there is also a large section of people who gets mods for more personal and viable reasons such as happiness etc.

  14. @LABL_CTA i too used to dip my cigarettes in formaldehyde, or “embalming fluid” before smoking them until i went to Philadelphia and saw a bunch of signs in some of the poorer neighborhoods warning against this practice (true story) as it would have the effect of killing me and not to “get wet” as i had previously thought myself to have been. since then i have been able to acquire real illy in my quest to “get wet” and in retrospect would recommend against smoking dangerous chemicals in place of actual drugs.

  15. “Excuse me while I slam the palm of my hand into my forehead.” My thoughts exactly… *facepalm*

    I dig the fork ears.

  16. Um even if he didn’t invent the technique, I sure as shit would NEVER go to a piercing/body mod studio to have some half assed chop and stitch done to my body.

    Lobes that look like anuses aren’t appealing forever, surprising?

  17. What a lying cunt. The procedures in my country only cost 70USD, and my friends fixed their gauged ears for various reasons (blowouts, improper care, decision to do other mods etc)

    I have friends who work in respectable positions in companies as managers and directors with their GAUGED ears. Seriously. And everybody’s cool about it, it’s so common in my country to the point that having gauged ears is as common as having ear piercings! Love it :)

  18. Yay for shock value news. One of the local tattoo/piercing shops here offers lobe “re-shaping” as a standard service. Their head piercer had his “fixed”- from being able to fit a drink can to unpierced- purely so he could start over.

  19. I didn’t have any trouble finding professional work.

    I’ve had stretched lobes since I was 19. My mum like most was horrified: “What will you do when you want to find a steady job?!”
    Since then I have worked as a business account manager for a cellphone network for 3+ years and now I’m a beginner high school teacher.

    Granted they are only 12mm so easy to disguise if need be but I believe it’s a lot more socially acceptable to have stretched ears these days.

    I also think a guy in a suit with stretchers is hot :P

  20. “once that hole is stretched any wider than 6 millimeters, there’s no going back.”

    I’ve seen people who’ve gone up to 16/18/20mm who’ve then shrunk down, some have just stuck at 10/12mm, others have gone right back down, and while they havent achieved the ‘pinprick’ holes that you’d get from a 1.2mm or 1.6mm hole (16G/14G) they’ve had them barely noticeable (maybe 2 or 3 mm).

    and at the same time, I’ve seen people at 8/10mm who cant get them any smaller.

    its down to the individual and their stretching methods (ie have they gone up too quickly, split and scarred the inside of the hole and therefore made future stretching or downsizing a lot harder for themselves)

    the choice to downsize or have surgery to reconstruct the lobes is as much the individual’s choice as their decision to stretch in the 1st place, whatever the reasons, and i dont think they should be criticized for it.

  21. If you actually take a look at the article and the job the surgeon did, it was horrible. He goes on about how putting stretched lobes back together is like putting a puzzle back together. His puzzle solving skills are mediocre at best! The person’s lobes look like little bums.

    I’ve seen artists in body piercing/modification studios “hack and stitch” lobes one thousand times better then this “qualified” plastic surgeon did.

    Now I am not saying that he can’t pull off amazing rhinoplasty or breast augmentation and the likes, though his skills for ear lobe reconstruction (in the stretched lobe department) are not there.

  22. I’ve never stretched my lobes that big. I like them at a half inch, it’s perfect for me. Stretching my lobes is one thing I’ve never regretted and I work a fairly professional job. I’ve never had an issue but I never wear tunnels to work (I believe this may make the inexperienced fairly oblivious to the fact that yes, the holes in my ears are that large haha). Obviously, my lobes are not HUGE but you can still do professional work if you at least try to keep in on the down low lol

    Now, one of my tattoos on the other hand…Have one I’d love to never see again and of course it is the most visible. Did NOT think that one through thoroughly enough and I do regret my decision in that case. I’m fairly lucky though as I have always put a lot of thought into my other tattoos and piercings. Don’t regret any of those. I don’t criticize people for “regretting” their decision as I would have never thought I’d have a distaste for some of my work. It happens. Sometimes you just simply outgrow something you once liked! Doesn’t make you a sell-out. Sometimes even the most time consuming thought process doesn’t matter, it’s a reality that people change, end up liking something else, or not liking whatever it is they have. Luckily, there are ways to…”change” things (laser treatments, reconstructive surgery, etc). Let me put this out there however and say those “reversals” are EXPENSIVE and time consuming in the case of laser treatments (or not complete reversals…think tattoo removal, hardly ever does skin that has been laser treated look exactly the same as before). I would say it’s obviously definitely worth the time to think any changes you are going to make to your body are well thought out, but sometimes…we just change.

    I have seen some really nice reconstruction lobe work done by mod practitioners and some really bad work done by surgeons. I would think you’d need to research the surgeon or the mod practitioner before taking that step.

  23. Yes, it’s also quite obvious they did not do their research before publishing this story. It’s really sad journalism has gone so low that no research is even required. Gauging….gah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>