Sammy Nickalls
August 03, 2015 10:20 am

So you know when you buy super-cute new earrings at the store, and the backing often has a big plastic ring around it? Most of us just put ’em on, thinking the plastic ring is just an extra precaution to make sure they don’t fall out. But, um, did you know that you can actually take those plastic parts OFF the earrings, making them into totally normal, tiny backings? Yeah, don’t feel bad if you didn’t know, because we totally didn’t either.

On Saturday, 19-year-old Chelsea Smith had an epiphany about her earrings. She took to Twitter with snapshot of those tricky plastic backings, telling her followers about her recent realization.

After my nineteen years of living i have now realized that you are supposed to take the plastic part off pic.twitter.com/ejValCaa7G

— Chelsea Smith (@Chelsea__Smithh) August 1, 2015

MIND. BLOWN. Turns out that Chelsea wasn’t the only one shocked by her discovery, because her tweet has since been retweeted over 40,000 times. And if you check out the replies, people are pretty darn floored by the Earring Incident of 2015.

But wait: Others are claiming that the plastic backings actually do have a purpose: to stabilize your earring if it’s too heavy, as well as help your earring stay in if your holes are saggy from heavy earrings. For this reason, many are claiming that they shouldn’t be removed.

In fact, people who are proponents of the plastic backing are, um, a BIT concerned about a possible Saggy Ear Epidemic due to Chelsea’s tweet:

So are you supposed to take that darn plastic backing off or not?! Chelsea’s tweet has started a pretty big debate. And, by the way, what is the plastic bit even called? According to About Style, it’s a “clutch,” and yes, it serves a purpose:

“Standard backs that come with lightweight stud earrings usually hold the earrings snugly against your earlobes just fine, but heavier earrings (like popular chandeliers) can tug and pull at your earlobe, creating discomfort. And, over time, those heavy earrings will drag the pierced area downwards, leaving what appears to be a small vertical slit where a round hole used to be.

Stabilizing earring backs, often called clutches, hold earrings securely in place and disguise droopy earlobes. More importantly, the stabilizers help keep earrings from stretching in the first place.”

Well, that settles that. But for a simple stud earring like the one Chelsea tweeted, we’d argue that taking off the clutch would be perfectly fine, as well as all of the other small studs we buy that have the mysterious clutch.

But hey, the more ya know. The Internet will always continue to keep us on our toes.

(Images via Twitter)

Related:

Here’s an ode to lost earrings

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