Hoop Earrings: Circling Through Time
Like many other Latina women, I cannot remember when I got my ears pierced. Shortly after my birth, I got my first pairs of earrings and had a collection of gold earrings waiting for me. I’ve worn earrings ever since. I always getting dressed in the morning and choosing my earrings of the day. For me, gold hoop earrings were always a classic. Just later on, I learned that hoop earrings are part of my identity as a Latina woman.
This cultural significance of the hoop earring was brought to light by the the Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Bronx-born Puerto Rican Democrat from New York, arrived at the 116th Congress where she officially became the youngest congresswoman the country’s wearing a white suit, her signature red lip, and thin gold hoops.
AOC knew people would talk about her style, so she used this opportunity to say something. She wrote on twitter “I wore all-white today to honor the women who paved the path before me, and for all the women yet to come. From suffragettes to Shirley Chisholm, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the mothers of the movement.” Ocasio also posted about her red lips and gold hoop earrings. Her styling choices were not aleatory, she dresses up with intention.
Hoops are not only part of Latina culture, it is a style that spans cultures and ages. The first hoop earrings originated in Nubia in the year 2500 B.C. This was the African civilization that we call Sudan today. Their jewelry was made in silver, bronze, and gold. Hoop earrings in all materials and sizes have also been around about as circling since ancient times, they were worn by Greeks, Egyptians, and Hmong.
These earrings come from the so-called Great Death Pit. Made from two pieces of gold sheet, each is shaped like a hollow crescent.
Hoop earrings became especially popular among African American women during the Black Power movement in the 1960s when many activists like Angela Davis and Nina Simone, who played an crucial role in the Civil Rights movement, were adopting an African-inspired look that embraced natural hairstyles and hoop earrings.
Hoop earrings turned into a symbol of power and spread to other cultures around the globe, taking place in both pop and street culture. Hoop earrings carried on into the 70s and 80s when it was embraced by divas like Cher and Madonna.
Hoops can be seen all over social media, blogs, on red carpets, and in real life. In the 90’s, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani were notable for wearing large hoop earrings, and those earring continue to be one of the oldest fashion trends alive.
Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Cardi B, Zendaya and Beyonce are just some of the influential women in today’s culture who love wearing hoop earrings.
Hoop earrings are a staple of many different cultures and continue to evolve as both a fashion accessory and symbol of strength.
Hoops earrings are for the bold. Hoops come in every shape, size, and color, from dainty huggie hoops & charm gold hoops, to twisted gold hoops & large bamboo hoops, there is a pair of hoops out there for everyone.
What is it about hoops that have withstood the test of thousands and thousands of years of time? They represent unity, infinity, and wholeness.
For me, hoop earrings became a symbol of strength, identity, and resistance, worn over the time by inspiring women who made decisions that changed the world that we live in. Hoop earrings stand out, just like the strong women who wear them.
-Stay in the loop