Ear piercings aren’t the kind of thing that tend to make folks think twice simply because they’re pretty common. Heck, most first piercings tend to be in the ear. But as with most things related to body art & body jewelry, there’s usually more than meets the eye. Ear piercing has kind of fallen by the wayside as more exotic piercing styles have become very popular. In recent years, ear piercings have been seen as safe gateways into the piercing scene. But if you think that ear piercing is nothing more than “basic”, you’re in for a real surprise. Not Just Earlobes: If you get a chance, take a look at a picture of an ear. There isn’t much to it, especially in terms of size & general features. That said, ear piercings are more than just little studs on the earlobes. Every area of the ear is fair game, leading to piercing types including, but not limited to: daith, rook, tragus, orbital, and helix. Seriously, it’s worth seeing just how far the old-fashioned ear piercing has come. Men/Women/Gender Roles: Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, ear piercing has always had some association with gender & even sexual orientation. Unfortunately, it’s also been used as a way to marginalize people. The thing is that ear piercings have been fashionable for all people for many years. In fact, the first ear piercing goes back thousands of years & looks to have been on a male. Health Benefits: Ear piercings have been having a bit of a moment for the last few years as more info has been put out to the public about the health benefits associated with various types of ear piercings. Perhaps the most publicized benefit is as an alternative treatment for migraines. While the science says that there are no specific benefits associated with the various piercings available, placebo effects are fairly strong with certain individuals. Aftercare Is Vital: There is one area where professional piercers wish there was more attention paid by their clients – aftercare. A lot of folks are just really excited to get pierced that they don’t pay enough attention to knowing how they should care for their piercing. Aside from wasting money on a piercing that’s got to come out, the biggest threat that comes from poor aftercare is infection. Ear Curation: One of the biggest trends in ear piercings over the last few years has been the adoption of ear curation. Say what?!? Why only get your ear pierced in the tame, basic way when you can make a major statement with various types of piercings all at once? Social media platforms, especially those big on pictures and short-form videos, are ripe with users sharing their ear durations with dedicated followers and curious visitors interested in what curation is all about. Ear curation has also spawned the popularity in earring collections that are unique & worthy of exaltation. Ear piercings have had quite an interesting history, and with many professional piercers looking to expand the art, there’s a good chance that its future looks quite bright. While piercers may be at the forefront of such experimentation, it will depend on those being pierced to see beyond the usual earlobe jobs that were once synonymous with mall culture for years. As a final note, it’s important for those considering ear piercing to know that of all of the things that you SHOULD know, the most important has to do with your relationship with your piercer. This person is not just someone who’ll put a piece of metal through your ear. They are an expert guide on the process & the first line of defense should your piercing run into some problems. As such, find a piercer & studio that’s known for being reputable & consistent with quality work.