Otitis. What a dreadful way of beginning the New Year. 2015 came with good food, drinks, expectations and an inflammation in my middle ear. For 6 days I couldn’t sleep at all – let alone the horrible pain and loss of hearing, which I took long to recover. The doctor prescribed such a huge list of drugs to me that would make anybody believe we’re starting our own pharmacy. For days I wandered in my house with a hot water bottle pressed to my left ear, in a terrible mood. Doctor asked if I’d rather take an injection to stop the pain but I denied vehemently! These injections used to get our bodies rid of bacteria are the most painful ones! If I took it I would most certainly end up with one hot water bottle in my ear and another one in my ass! Nope! Today I woke up with another infection, this time in my throat. Not again…
But what does my low immune system has to do with the pointed ears? Well, this sort of made me reflect about the plastic issue. Not long ago I ran into an article about a Canadian alternative model called Melynda Moon who had her ears shaped to make them look like elven’s ears. This practice is taking ground not only among public personalities, but also among cosplayers and such. I’m among the thousands of Tolkien’s fans, LARP players (live action role-playing game) and elf lovers from all around the world that long for slipping into neverland (here I mean any world ever created in fantasy literature). Like many of these folks out there I have a pair of elven ears wearied now and then, but would I ever consider getting permanent points where my humanlike round cartilage used to be?
The procedure also known as Spock’s ears consists of cutting the top of the cartilage, removing a small part of it and stitching the parts forming a point.
The two half-elves: Kimberleigh Roseblade and model Melynda Moon.
When I first heard of it I thought to myself: Wow, it’s cool, these girls are really brave and above all else they have something I truly admire in someone: they don’t give a damn about what others think of them. I personally love people who have personality and don’t do something just because everybody else does. Melynda seems this kind of person. I don’t follow her work but from what I could grasp she has her own style, something “doll like” and alternative – I won’t dare to slot her into a specific style. Looking at the outcome of the surgery in both girls we see beautiful human-elves. For me their ears look great and extremely realistic.
Opinions on these girls’s decision may vary, but indeed the highest rate of acceptance will come from the youngest generations; after all they’re growing up in a society where any type of body modification is common, from colorful hair and piercing to silicon and botox. But of course, opinions are what they are: mere opinions. For those who are interested in the procedure the only opinion that really counts is the doctor’s. I'm biased in this issue; after all I'm familiar with the elvish mythology. My opinion obviously involves taste, but you shouldn't really expect older people (or people who aren't familiar with Tolkien or Norse mythology) to look at your modified ears and find them the most beautiful thing they've ever seen. I accept and admire these ears but that's because of my background knowledge of the elvish literature, games, etc. Most people will say it's pathetic (consider they don't have the slightest idea what an elf is!) and throw accusations of body mutilation at whoever gets it done.
But let’s try not to be cynical in this matter: There’s no point in someone arguing that getting elven ears is a pathetic mutilation if this person has done or plans to get any other unnecessary body modification – it includes breast augmentation and even worse: rib removal! We’re aware of the high rates of these pointless surgeries in the world, and they’re not higher just because most people don’t have the money to afford it. Honestly, I'd rather see dozens of people modifying their ears than see people injecting silicon for sexual purposes. The media is currently bursting with cases of women who made truly pathetic body transformations for the silliest reasons. Check the case of the brazilian model who injected so much silicon into her body that it began to rot inside her and now she’s between life and death. In my opinion everyone is free to decide what they want to change in their bodies - as long as take up the consequences. The brazilian media has recently made a fuss about the model’s critical health condition, blaming the society, blaming the men and everyone who they believe to be responsible for what happened to the lady. Excuse me? The decision of injecting only god knows how many liters of silicon was hers, consequently the fault of what happened is hers alone. She knew the risks.
Words from these ladies seem to have spread and since people know how much I love elves they keep asking me if I would change my ears someday. It’s funny when I’m confronted with this question. I’m normally a joker so I’ll go: But of course! If someday I have money to perform it I’ll surely do it! When I say that those who don’t know me enough roll their eyes because they know I’m kidding, and those who know me too well roll their eyes the same way because they really believe I’d do it. My answer is no. As a child I suffered from adenoid hypertrophy and had to undergo two surgeries to remove it. Though I can’t recall precisely the age I also underwent a treatment with monthly allergy shots to treat my rhinitis. After all this I would never feel comfortable to undergo such pointless surgery procedures. As simple as the surgery to get elven ears might seem, it has its risks. We must take into account not only the risks of infection during or after the surgery but also the long term problems that it might cause, like ear deformation, since our ears never stop growing and once you sculpt it, the natural growing might interfere in the pointed shape.