Style

Here's why you'll never look at earrings the same way again

If you feel like this is just another day, you may have missed the most mind-blowing news since #thedress.

Twitter-user Chelsea Smith shared an image yesterday that revealed she’d spent her entire life wearing her earrings "wrong." You know the small, plastic piece affixed to many earring backs? According to Smith, we’re supposed to remove them.

Others debate that these plastic pieces served as a barrier — a ear cushion, if you will — to make heavy earrings more comfortable and wearable. If you're starting to question everything you thought you knew about life and the universe, you're not alone. It seems as though the entire Internet has be weighing in on the debate.

Lifestyle expert Megan O’Brien of MegsMakeup.com shared her disbelief with TODAY.com. “This cannot be true! In my teens I quickly pulled my sweater off and ripped my earring out, thus causing an oversized earlobe hole. Those plastic do-hickey's are the only thing able to keep any stud-sized earrings in without the backing coming forward and making the earring fall out,” she said.

Beauty and pop culture blogger Patrice Grell Yursik of Afrobella.com said she immediately tried this idea when she heard the news, but found she couldn't remove the plastic. “I did a search for earring backs on Amazon and these are called 'bullet-clutch earring backs with pad' — I think the pad's supposed to stay on!” she said.

The plot thickens. So, TODAY.com decided to ask a few experts. “It is well established in the fine and fashion jewelry industries that the larger the earring back, the more stable and secure the earring wears. The plastic circle on the nut, which is intrinsically hypoallergenic, should not be thrown away,” confirms Andrew Fox, president of SuperJeweler.com.

The reality though is that earrings come in all sorts of weights, as different ears come with varying capacity to carry it. Those gaping ear holes you notice on an old lady or two may have been saved from getting worse by a bit of plastic protection.

“It depends on the style and quality," says stylist Catherine Cassidy, founder of Ustyled.com. "They also actually encourage people to leave them on so they don't lose the backing.” Most of the better-quality earrings have these kinds of backs, she added, to offer some extra support to keep them in place.

Even as we come closer to a conclusion, Twitter remains in an uproar.

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