Hoop Earrings in Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt Essay Example



Ancient Egyptian cats, Julius Caesar or pirates in the 16 hundreds, hoop earrings have always found a way into society. They’ve always had good connotations, whether it was as a way of showing high social status or as a symbol of ferocity. Celebrities have been using hoops as statement pieces, Latinas using them to show off their Spanish roots. Everything sounds good so far isn’t it? Wrong. Those who are still brave enough to wear hoops are constantly being harassed about their choice of jewelry. This must be stopped. So why is it only now that this stigma on hoops has arisen?

First of all, why do people wear hoops? For some, it is almost like a tradition, especially prominent in the Latina culture, for others, it is a fashion statement, or as a way to dress up a casual outfit. For numerous people, they are used as a way to reclaim hoops and build a powerful image for them once again. Slowly, things are changing for the better. Moreover, with stars such as Bruno Mars, Lana del Rey and Cardi B singing about hoops,  massively influential people, namely, the  Kardashians, Rihanna and Michele Obama wearing them, it is difficult to disagree with the fact that they are definitely “in” at the moment. Yet some people still can’t overcome the “chavvy” taint that hoops have surrounding them, which began in the early noughties and still lingers today.

But it wasn’t the noughties that hoops came around. Hoops have been around for centuries. Two thousand five hundred BC to be exact when the first pair of recorded hoops were worn by a Sumerian woman. They then showed up again in one thousand five hundred BC, when ancient Egyptian cats wore them as a symbol of ferocity. They were given this reputation due to Bastet, a cat-headed woman who was worshipped in Lower Egypt. She was usually depicted as a lion and represented sunrise, music, dance, family, fertility, and birth. See any patterns there? They’re all positive and admirable. Over one thousand years later, in fifty BC, Julius Caesar, yes, Julius Caesar the emperor of Rome wore big gold hoops to exemplify his power and wealth.

Furthermore, pirates were the next to adorn hoops in the sixteen hundreds. They are arguably the most renowned and recognised hoop- wearers in history, as they are often perceived as flamboyant dressers. For the reason that in the sixteen hundreds, it was illegal for lower class people to wear certain colours, types of clothing and accessories (such as hoops). So when the pirates came back from the sea to the towns, they would steal them from markets and wear them as a sign of defiance and rebellion against the government.

Doesn’t make sense, does it? All these different times hoops were present, and not a single one was negative. So why is that when a room full of teens were asked whether or not they had heard someone say “the bigger the hoop the bigger the hoe”, a massive 93% said they had. Nearly every single one of those people had heard or used that phrase. Does that mean that nearly every single person has judged a person's sexual activity by the size of their jewelry? Funnily enough, I do not think these two things correlate. Shouldn’t everybody be allowed to wear whatever sized hoops they want, without being called a hoe, a slag or a slut? Maybe you’re sitting thinking that I must be exaggerating the full extent of the problem, but sadly I am not. Hoops are the only items of jewelry that face these issues and have this stigma around them, and it is especially infuriating since they’ve always been seen as powerful. It really doesn’t make sense, does it? 

Moreover, as somebody who proudly wears hoops on a daily basis, I can speak for the majority of people when I say we are more targeted than any other jewelry wearer, whether that's having your hoops pulled out, name-calling and being subject to constant shaming.

In conclusion, I believe that anybody and everybody should be able to wear hoop earrings without being put down by other people. I hope I have opened your eyes to the fact that hoop earrings have always been around, and seen in a positive light. We should continue to embrace hoops and use them to empower ourselves. So the next time someone tries to put you down for wearing hoops, just bring out the confident hoop wearing pirate inside you and remember you are in good company with emperors and goddesses alike.