Piercing Babies’ Ears: Adorable or So Wrong?

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Image via Flickr/ abardwell

Do you remember what it felt like to get your ears pierced? Did it tickle? Or did it really hurt? I've never had my ears pierced, but I remember pretty vividly when my sister got her ears pierced. She was about 5 years old, and she seemed pretty brave through the whole thing — until the actual piercing took place. 

{ MORE: To Pierce or Not to Pierce }

She just sat there calmly on a chair in the jewelry section of Fred Meyer, waiting to be impaled with beauty. The calmness that she demonstrated, though, was quickly replaced with frantic crying and pain. Even I, just a mere spectator, was taken a little off guard when the piercing gun slammed a miniature nail through her first lobe. And then her second. But once the pain and shock went their way, my sister had nice decorative ears. She got exactly what she wanted.

But that's exactly what I'm getting at. She got exactly what she wanted. She wasn't strapped into a chair only to have jewels jammed into her ears. She was the one who came up with the idea, and she was the one who climbed onto the stool under her own power.

But I see more and more little girls, babies, even, that have their ears pierced. Did they give their consent? Probably not. Would you give your baby a tattoo? Probably not. While one may be more noticeable and maybe even more of a social no-no, but they both leave permanent marks, and they are both permanent physical changes.

In fact, there are 40,000+ people that agree with that statement — the statement being that whoever gets their ears pierced should get them pierced because they communicated in some way, shape, or form that they wanted the piercings

{ MORE: Ear Piercing: 3 Things You Need to Know }

I just think that piercing a baby's ears may look cute, but you are literally making a decision for your child that can never be taken back. What does it hurt to wait a couple of years for your little one to make the decision him/herself? At that age, I'm more drawn to giggles, smiles, and laughs than I am some pins in the baby's ears. 

What do you think? Am I and 40,000 other people overreacting to piercings, or is there something to be said about agency when dealing with a permanent marking like a piercing? 

Let us know in the comments. I know you've got an opinion on this.

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What do you think?

Piercing Babies’ Ears: Adorable or So Wrong?

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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6 comments

  1. JQBMom says:

    Pierced ears, though in some culture’s traditions considered appropriate for babies, are a form of body modification… which is something a person should be allowed to decide on for themselves. And, since earrings are what I think of as an adjunct tertiary sex characteristic, my daughter will be allowed to have her ears pierced when she’s entering the attracting-a-mate stage, and not before.

  2. Whitney says:

    You are completely overreacting, especially when comparing ear piercing to tattooing your baby. That’s an extremely far leap. Piercings can be removed if you choose so, tattoos not so much, but I digress. I pierced my daughters ears when she was three months old, they were super easy to clean and she never touched them. Now at a year old she doesn’t mess with them. And before you pass judgement on someone, because that’s exactly what you’re doing here, please know that piercing a baby girl’s ears are a part of some culture’s traditions. Yes, some people don’t agree and say how can you do that to a baby, but I believe that the choices we make as parents for our children, are that, our individual choices. What works for one family, doesn’t always work for another, and instead of passing judgment and ridicule, just be open and friendly. The world would be a better place if we did that, pierced ears or not.

  3. Whitney says:

    I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 11, and even then it was not my choice. I didn’t want it, my mom did. It hurt so bad for me and I now have a crooked hole in one of ears. I’ll try wearing earrings occasionally, but really they hurt and irritate my ears. I wish it was never done at all. I would probably not get my daughter’s done as a baby. If she wants them when she’s older, she can, but I would not make that decision for her. I know pierced ears have become the norm but I don’t feel the need to do something just because everyone else does. As females, we don’t HAVE to have our ears pierced. There’s plenty of jewelry to wear that doesn’t require a needle and possibility of infection or irritation or pain at all. Not against piercings, just make the decision for yourself, not your kids.

  4. Tapia says:

    I’m one of the many people who agree with you their body their choice. I didn’t pierce my little ones ears because it’s her choice, just because they’re something pretty doesn’t mean that I have the right to take away her choice for something on her body. Something that when she’s bigger she’ll have to take responsibility for it, to make sure they get cleaned and rotated properly. I can’t be around forever to follow her around and make sure the choice I made for her is being taken care of. The whole what girl doesn’t want earrings thing makes me giggle because I know plenty of girls who never did. I was someone who got my ears pierced because everyone did it and I no longer wear them but I still have the holes to take responsibility for. In fact I had family members tell me they’d take my little one to go get it done anyway and I told them if it happened they’d never see my child again.

  5. Erica says:

    I say get over it. I got my daughter’s ears pierced before 5 months old. Some people have had their sideways glances, but for the most people have had very positive feedback. She doesn’t mind them at all. I can even change the ear rings. I feel like they’re beautiful and every baby girl should have their ears pierced. Personally, anyone who is against ME having MY CHILD’S ears pierced can get the heck over it. What do you think of circumcision on boys, a purely cosmetic surgical permanent procedure? Yea, my son is clipped too.

  6. Lorena says:

    I think your over reacting. What little girl does not want there ears pierced? It’s a lot easier to do when they are babies and don’t remember that they have earrings. As a toddler or preschooler they can play with their ears and cause infections when pierced at that age. With a baby it is over and done with and forgotten about a second later. If the child decides it’s not for them they can take them out. To compare ear piercing to a tattoo is ridiculous. Tattoos are far more painful and not to mention permanent. Those are two completely different categories. Piercing a babies ears causes no harm to the child, if it was harmful by law it would not be allowed. People need to get over it.

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