In February 2020, I came across this project called ‘Hoops’ written by Nicole Acosta. This project talked about this ‘trend’ of hoop earrings, and how popular fashion magazines have deemed something Black and Brown women have worn for generations. Generations. With that said, here is my take. Please see (and read) the articles referenced. -JBHarris
My hoop earrings are the most chic Teddy Bear I could ever, ever own! These are the earrings which make me feel the most formidable and feminine. They are the signal that I am not to me messed with, and I see everything–even the stuff you think I don’t! They are ancestral, and cultural. They are my reminder of my past life a Queen in a land untouched by colonization. They accent my features, elongate my neck, and make my eyes shine like diamonds.
I reached for these to finish my undergrad, every day for 4 months. I wore these and pair of earrings with elephants on them. I reached for these when I did my first book signing. I reached for these when I thought I left the house with no earrings. I feel my prettiest, most secure in my blackness and womanness with these.
There are certain things that Black women do that cannot be replicated on other women. I am aware it is not just Black women whom wear hoop earrings. I am by no means saying you have to have to be Black to wear them! But I am saying is hoop earrings are a Black girl cultural staple. They are a staple for Latina girls. Some stuff just belongs to people! So, since it belongs to people, people outside of that space or culture can neither claim origin or ownership.
This is cultural appropriation.
Just like Becky and Karen feel they can wear cornrows and hoops and claw acrylic nails as costumes (yes, YOU, Katy Perry!)–you will not demean US for wearing the same things as we move about in the world.
Even typing this, I’m wearing my hoop earrings with my favorite hair wrap. And I have never felt more gorgeous. Besides, after this quarantine, I get to give my oldest daughter her first pair.
[images from thecollegefix.com, prettylittlethings.com and blog.questionbridge.com]