New disco fashion item -- earplugs

James Joyce

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080305...ub_earplugs;_ylt=AiYyxad.0r3im0lox2uibU3tiBIF

LONDON (Reuters) - Earplugs may not be the most glamorous fashion item around, but a charity for the deaf has asked designers to pitch suggestions to make them hip enough for young clubbers at risk of long-term hearing damage.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) has launched a competition to find a look that will dispel the prevailing feeling that earplugs look too "medical", aesthetically unappealing and socially unacceptable.

The charity, which says 90 percent of young clubbers have experienced early signs of hearing damage, feels the taboo might be surmountable.

"Because of Bluetooth headsets and iPods, people are getting more used to the idea of putting things in their ears that are fashionable," said a spokeswoman.

The RNID compares using earplugs to wearing a condom for sex, or putting on sun cream or a bike helmet.

It says small earplugs available for between 10 and 15 pounds work much better than the more traditional, cheaper earplugs used by some to help them sleep, allowing clubbers to hear the detail of the music but reducing the volume.

But designer earplugs might cost more, it warns -- depending on what the fashion and safety conscious clubber is willing to pay.

The winning designers will get internships with firms with the aim of putting their earplugs into production.

I've got an idea. Why, instead of asking people to wear earplugs, can clubs not just REDUCE THE DAMN VOLUME?
 
Some of the best musicians and hard core concert goers I know wear earplugs when they go to concerts or play. It's not that crazy.
 

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