A historic debate over earring backs is currently brewing on the internet, dividing women into warring factions and threatening to undo all of Taylor Swift’s hard work to make girls be nicer to each other. At the center of the debate is the simple question: What is up with plastic-disc earring backs?
The issue was thrust to the forefront by Twitter user @Chelsea__Smithh, who unleashed her earring-back revelation upon the world with a single earth-shattering tweet.
Many were floored by the discovery — had we been wearing our Claire’s earrings wrong our entire tweendom? — but some were skeptical. To get to the bottom of the matter, we asked Erica Weiner and Rony Vardi, two of New York’s most well-known jewelry designers, for their expert opinions.
“Much like wider straps on a bra, the larger, plastic back can offer more support, in particular for a larger or oddly shaped earring,” said Vardi, the owner of Catbird NYC.
Weiner agreed that round backs were for heavier studs, and they’re meant to “distribute the weight better so it will keep your earlobe facing forward properly.”
“We’ve been selling jewelry for a long time using those backs as that tool,” said Weiner. “I’ve had the plastic disc break off by accident, but I always thought that meant it was broken.”
So does this mean @Chelsea__Smithh just has a pair of broken earrings on her hands?
“Anyone can wear jewelry any which way they goddamn want,” Weiner added.
Consider the enigma of the plastic earring back officially solved.