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Plastic surgeons have recently reported a sharp rise in the number of people seeking operations to repair earlobes, thanks to the growing popularity of flesh tunnels – hollow, tube-shaped jewelry inserted into stretched, over-sized ear piercings.
We asked Metro.co.uk readers who have had flesh tunnels to share their experiences. Had they regretted their decision, or did they still like their body adornment?
Below are a selection of the responses we received. If you’d like to add your thoughts on flesh tunnels, leave a comment in the thread below.
I BARELY NOTICE IT NOWADAYS
‘My maximum size was once 22mm diameter, and now at 16mm. I work in an office, I’m 23, and I find them distinctive. I also find the opposite sex who have them attractive. They don’t look great when the tunnels are removed, admittedly, but I have no qualms with them myself. I can still look mature and commanding in a suit. It’s not like my piercings define me, my only issue is public perception – that’s the public’s problem.’ Dave Aubrey
‘I got mine done when I was 17. I’m 24 now and don’t regret having it done – in fact I barely notice it nowadays because I keep the same plug in, and it’s sort of come to the ‘norm’ in the past few years.’ Adam
‘YOU’LL REGRET IT WHEN YOU’RE OLDER’
‘I started stretching my ears during my second year at university, when I worked in an alternative shop that did piercings. In the end I stretched my ears to 22mm. At the time I thought they looked great and I loved having them on show. That was when I was 22. I’m now 26 and I’ve been left with two droopy ear lobes. I’m lucky that they haven’t effected my ability to find employment, but I know when I’m older they’ll be more noticeable and harder to ignore – which is why I’m currently in the process of researching cosmetic surgery. I do regret stretching my ears and whenever I see a teenager with a mini tunnel, I just want to go over to them and say: ‘Don’t stretch your ears any further – you’ll regret it when your older!’ I would tell anyone who is considering stretching their ears to seriously consider the consequences and future costs of having them repaired.’ Jade T
‘I’m 24 and first stretched my ears when I was 17. The process of stretching your ear lobes is painful and requires a lot of patience. You can tear and damage them if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t follow professional advice. I acknowledged that I may not want them forever so said I would only go to 12mm. I wish I’d been more careful, as although they shrank quite quickly once removed and are more or less back to 1.2mm, there is scarring.’ Emily
‘I’ve had one of my ears stretched to 12mm for around seven years now. My other one I’ve only recently started stretching, it’s now at 6mm. I love them! I’ve never been rejected for a job because of them, and I’ve never felt judged because of them. Some people are disgusted, don’t get me wrong, but people feel that way about tattoos too. I don’t take it personally.’ Daisy R
‘I started to stretch my ears about five years ago. I don’t regret it, but I don’t like the fact that people label me or refuse to hire me because off them. It’s understandable if it’s a reception job – but if its just stacking shelves then stretched ears, or piercings, or hair colour, aren’t going to affect how well you work. People say to me that I’m going to regret them when I am 50, but to be honest with the way the generation is going stretched ears aren’t going to be anything compared to the grannies who’ll be walking around with with boob jobs, tummy tucks and botox. Louize