Girl, flaunt those hoops!

American private liberal arts colleges constantly seem to be in the news (not, unfortunately, for their educational successes). Pitzer College, located in Claremont, California (and ranked 44th among liberal arts colleges in the United States by Times Higher Education), recently made the news when a college Resident Assistant announced that “white girls” should not wear hoop earrings.


Left: Greek hoop earring with lion head, 4th century BC; Right: Italian (Lombard) hoop earring with basket, 7th century AD

The strange thing is that hoop earrings are almost a cultural universal. They have been worn across the world, including in Europe and the Middle East. And not just by “girls” with skin of various colours – men have worn them too.

I must also say I’m grateful that the Greeks haven’t stopped the rest of the world from “cultural appropriation” of their philosophy, mathematics, and democratic ideals.


Left: Croatian hoop earring, 14th century AD; Right: Egyptian hoop earring, Roman Period or later


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2 thoughts on “Girl, flaunt those hoops!

  1. The clue is in the word “liberal” Tony.
    Experience shows that liberal people are generally the least liberal, i.e people should only be free to do anything if the liberals think it’s ok.

  2. Pingback: Blue Jeans and Culture | Scientific Gems

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