Hoop Earrings Are Not a Trend | Tini Lux

Hoop Earrings Are Not a Trend

By Jacqueline Burke

Hoop Earrings Are More Than A Trend

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and the injustices that black people are facing every day, it seems necessary to acknowledge and credit the influence that black women have had on today's popular earring styles. 
Earrings and, more specifically, hoop earrings have been worn by humans since at least 2600 BC in some reports. Hoop earrings were first known to be worn by the Sumerians (present-day Iraq), and were also known to be worn by Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Nubians, Greeks and may other cultures over thousands of years.
Although hoop earrings have existed in various forms since the beginning of human history (the Sumerians were the first people to keep records), this blog post is focused on more recent history.
In the 1960s and 1970s, during the Black Power movement, hoop earrings became popular with black women embracing Afro-Centric styles.  Hoops were very popular among black female activists, artists, and celebrities.
Angela Davis
Diana Ross
Donna Summer
Hoops exist in minority groups as more than just an accessory, they are symbols of resistance, strength, and identity. For this reason, even though they have been around for thousands of years, they became synonymous with black culture in the 20th century. 
In the 90's, Salt N Pepa popularized the door-knocker hoop trend.  The door-knocker hoops were a staple among black women; yet white culture criticized the style and called them 'ghetto'. Years later, fashion magazines decided large hoops were popular and called them a trend.  Black women were discriminated against for wearing door knocker hoops, and hoops in general, so for fashion magazines to label them a "trend" or hot fashion accessory is incredibly offensive. Hoops are symbols of black culture and the injustices black women have faced. 
Salt N Pepa
Maya Angelou
Recently, hoops have once again become a very popular mainstream earring style. However, that has brought along some more controversy.  Given that hoops are such a powerful symbol of black culture, many consider it to be cultural appropriation for white women to wear hoop earrings. Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element of one culture by people from another culture (especially when this is done by a dominant culture stealing from a minority culture).
Yara Shahidi
Issa Rae
Black women undoubtedly have brought hoops into the mainstream, and have sustained their popularity as an accessory for decades. Black women deserve credit for their influence on popular style.  When you wear your hoop earrings, remember the women who popularized this style and recognize the injustices that they are facing every day.

Amandla Stenberg


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Danielle 12/5/2022

Shylo, while I can understand where you’re coming from, there is a vast difference from white people wearing hoops, to black people wearing a straight blonde wig. No white person has seen racism or discrimination from their straight blonde hair. Many parts of black culture including hoop earrings have been dubbed as “unprofessional” or are criticized and shown racism for expressing their culture/styles. It is the history of oppression that makes something cultural appropriation. It is the fact that certain styles or articles of clothing have a much deeper meaning that is meant for the people involved within that culture/ group of people to bring them closer together. To compare that to straight blonde hair is an ill comparison. white people do not face racism, we are the oppressors.

Elsa 12/5/2022

I fully agree cultural appropriation is a problem. When the fashion industry decides powerful cultural symbols such as dreadlocks, bindis, and Native American headdresses can be used as a trend with no context, that is disgusting. This is a serious problem that must be addressed.

However, hoop earrings do not fall into that category. Hoop earrings were worn by the ancient Egyptians, Asians, Romans, and greeks. They were also seen on the soldiers of ancient Persia.

Hoops were very popular in the 1820’s taking influence from roman culture. In the 1900’s they became popular in Latin American and Native American culture. In the 1970’s they were popular thanks to icons such as Cher and Diana Ross wearing them. They continued to remain in popular culture up until curtain times.

There are many serious examples of white people stealing from rich and beautiful cultures. Hoops is not one of them. There has been a prevalence of hoops in white, asian, Hispanic, and Native American cultures as well as black cultures.

To claim hoops as a symbol of black culture is disrespectful to the Latino, Native American, and Asian women who have been wearing hoops for centuries. Hoops have a rich diverse history that should be shared by all. They have been a piece of many different cultures over many different time periods. It is beautiful thing.

Shylo 4/3/2021

Firstly I understand certain things can be cultural appropriation but not hoop earrings. Honestly, they have been around forever, and at times certain cultures have been more associated with them, sure, but white girls have been wearing them a long time too. They are not a new trend for anyone. I’ve been wearing hoops almost every day of my life since I was about 11, and I’m in my early 30s. If I were to go missing one day, I’m sure they would draw my missing person picture with hoops.
Cultural appropriation should be reserved for things that are done maliciously.
I found numerous Marilyn Monroe photos in the 60s or Bridgette Bardot or Elizabeth Taylor all rocking hoop earrings a long time ago. This is not a new thing.
If true equality is going to happen, people need to stop putting people in boxes; oh, this culture can do this and this that. If a black woman wears a straight blonde wig, is that not cultural appropriation? I mean, where does the insanity end. I am not insensitive to things by any means both my children are half Jamaican. But these kinds of articles aren’t going to bring people together it will ostracize people unnecessarily.

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