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Hoop Earrings: Power Through History
By Abby Murphy
Hoops are more than just earrings. They’re a symbol of inner strength and confidence. Hoops can transform one’s mood for the better. Suddenly a simple tee shirt and jeans can turn into a fabulous expression of style. I couldn’t help but wonder, what gives hoops their power? Is it their rich history? Or is it the people who wear them?
Turns out hoop earrings are one of the oldest fashion trends of humankind. The first hoop earrings originated in 2500 BCE in Nubia, a civilization that we now know as the African nation Sudan. In 1500 BCE, Egyptians sported hoops as a sign of beauty, wealth, and power. Hoops were also worn by Ancient Roman women as a sign of high class luxury. Hoops continued to grow with international trends throughout many decades. They reached prominence in the United States in the late 1800s.
During the Roaring 1920s, hoops became crucial in completing a high fashion look. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, hoops were the perfect accessory to compliment a low cut blouse and jeans. Cher and Diana Ross were notorious for wearing large gold hoops on stage in the 1970s. By the 1980s, however, hoops became a symbol of hip hop and rap music. This was a suitable transition because hoops served as a respectful nod to the African and Dominican cultures from which the style of music originated.
The empowerment that hoop earrings provide is no coincidence. It is through their diverse history that I’ve realized that the wearer holds just as much power as the earring itself does. An influential history has paved the way for us: “The 2021 hoop obsessors of today.” Today’s hoop lovers are wonderfully flawed. We don’t always play by the rules. We are free to create, inspire, and incite change.