Entries in Santa (2)


Elf Ears Are the Rage Among Quirky Teens

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The photos are pointedly striking -- young adults who have intentionally cut their ears to appear like those of elves or Star Trek's Spock.

The surgery is painful and irreversible. It's one body modification change, unlike a tattoo or a piercing, that you can't take back.

The unique and delicate procedure can leave you looking like one of Santa's elves. Numerous photos online show aficionados who appear to be thrilled with the results.

But once it's done, it's tough to turn back.

"It was just something I thought would be fascinating," said Jordan Houtz, who underwent surgery for her elf ears. "I wouldn't go as far as saying Trekie, but definitely Lord of the Rings -- all the sci-fi kind of stuff. It just fits my personality."

The "look" has been around since the 1960s television show, Star Trek, and has also been made famous by Liv Tyler's elfin look in Lord of the Rings. They've also made for some good comedy in HBO's, Bored to Death.

Some teens, especially on the West Coast, are actually going under the knife for real to have pointed ears, according to online reports.

Steve Haworth, a body modification artist from Tempe, Ariz., performs the procedure. He slices the top of the cartilage and then sews it back together in a point.

"There's a lot of people out there who have an inner vision of themselves and they want to express that to the world around them," said Haworth. "I'm very happy to be an artist that can provide that kind of work."

Raised in a family that manufactured and invented medical devices used in eye surgeries and plastic surgeries gave Haworth ideas for alternate forms of modifications.

The ear-pointing trend came to light in the most unlikely place -- AARP, the magazine for readers who are over 50.

"The trend goes back a few years," said Leslie Quander Wooldridge, a 28-year-old associate editor who writes AARP's column, Ah, Youth.

"When I did my research I found that body artists are doing it, like they were splitting tongues a few years ago," she said.

Good Morning America found many comments in online forums that were flip about the seriousness of the procedure.

"I want to have elf ears too.. but I'm not sure in what season to do it...cause in the winter I'm always wearing a cap/beanie and I guess it would hurt," said one.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ho Ho Horrible: Is Your Child Scared of Santa? 

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(CLEVELAND, Ohio) -- At age 2, Christopher Texler couldn't wait to meet Santa. He watched patiently as, one by one, his daycare mates were hoisted onto Santa's knee. But when it came his turn, Christopher was petrified.
"The look on his face was one of desperate terror," recalled Christopher's mom, Kirsten Texler, who has the photo to prove it. "He just lost it!"

Christopher's reaction is surprisingly common. Margaret Richards, PhD, a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, says it's normal for young children to be wary of strangers – especially ones so strangely dressed.

"We really work with kids on not talking to strangers and being cautious about those kinds of things, and that all goes out the window at Christmas time," Richards says.

Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, is perhaps more widely accepted than the fear of Santa. But the figures share similar disconcerting features, including their large stature, abnormal dress and covered faces.

The key to overcoming Santa-induced stress, Richards said, is talking about what to expect. But if, like Christopher, a child wants to be nowhere near Santa, there are other ways to get in touch.

"They can write letter or draw a picture," Richards said. "Parents should make sure their children know Santa will still get the message."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio