Etiquette: Ear cuffs are not appropriate for girl

Q. I asked my soon-to-be 9-year-old granddaughter what she wanted for her upcoming birthday. It didn’t take her long to tell me she wanted “ear cuffs.” I was talking to her on the phone, so I asked her to repeat what she said because I thought maybe she said earmuffs. Then I thought that was kind of strange because her birthday is in late April and wanting earmuffs sounded rather strange. I didn’t want to sound really old or stupid, so I didn’t ask any further questions.

My daughter-in-law stopped by the next day, so I asked her what ear cuffs were. She laughed and asked me if I wanted to know because I wanted some? I explained my phone call with my granddaughter and she got a wide look on her face. She didn’t say anything so I asked her about the weird look and no comment. She said she didn’t really think she wanted to comment because she did not want to get involved in something between me, my granddaughter and the granddaugther’s mother. So I changed the subject.

One of my retired girlfriends told me it is some kind of jewelry worn on the outer edge of the ear, like pierced earrings or something, which she thought was for girls a lot older than my granddaughter. Please tell me more about these ear cuffs. Are they considered jewelry and are they considered appropriate for a 9-year-old girl. I thinking I might have gotten myself in the doghouse, but I am not going to give my granddaughter something she shouldn’t be wearing, and I don’t want to get into an argument with her or her mother before I get a professional opinion.

Q. An ear cuff is considered a piece of jewelry and can be made of various metals, including silver, gold, titanium and copper. They are designed so they can be placed on the upper portion, outer edge of the ear. An ear cuff does not “pierce” the skin, but does fit snugly, which occasionally can cause a slight irritation. Some are a simple types of curved metal, while some are elaborate with chains going behind the ear and may include dangling gemstones,

While some may think they enhance the beauty of the ear, I do not. An especially unglamorous look is seeing an ear, or both ears, crowded with five or six styles of ear cuffs. I definitely do not feel they are appropriate for any young girl, much less a 9-year-old.

Perhaps she would appreciate a very nice age-appropriate bracelet for her birthday instead. If the subject of ear cuffs comes up, you might say: “I just could not pass up this beautiful bracelet.” I hope that by her next birthday, the ear cuff fad will have passed.

To see some examples of ear cuffs, to to