In the city I live in, one of the local private all-girls high schools has decided to pass a new rule about earrings. Students are only allowed to have two ear piercings, per ear. These piercings cannot include a cartilage piercing.

In general I’m not opposed to schools restricting the dress code of their students. To a certain extent the school is responsible for displaying a positive visual image of their student body. The girls should, obviously, look clean cut, refined, dignified, feminine. It’s this desire that has private schools dress girls in uniforms and require their hair color be a natural shade, etc…

However, what I do find interesting about this rule is the fact that a cartilage piercing is now out-lawed. A girl with one piercing per ear in the normal place and then a cartilage piercing will be required to remove that third earring, because of its location.

My dad’s generation is of the belief that a piercing on the upper part of the ear is distasteful. He believes it speaks of a girl’s liberal and loose moral standards. He also believes extra piercings will hinder me in the job search, as employers don’t want to hire people who appear ‘fast.’

I don’t know where this idea comes from but I do think it is outdated. People from my generation see it as an accessory and a subtle expression of individualism. At the same time, I do think there is a point in which minor self expression moves into the realm of bodily disfigurement. An ear full of piercings, barbells, studs and hoops is no longer an accent to the person. This becomes instead the main attraction. 

(In full disclosure, I have both my ears double pierced and one cartilage piercing. In the cartilage and second piercings I only wear studs, since they are an accent and not supposed to detract from my face.)

What do you think? Is a cartilage piercing indicative of low standards in a woman? Could it hurt someone’s chances of getting a job? Or is it just a subtle form of personal expression? And is this something a school should restrict or is it the parent’s job to control their children’s piercings?


Katie Hinderer

Katie Hinderer is a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism from Marquette University. Over the years she has transitioned from traditional publishing...