Piercing’s on a Baby: Cute or Just Plain Cruel?

Piercing's on a Baby, are they cute or just plain cruel? Last month you may have seen the video of a 4 month old baby getting her ears pierced. It made national news and was the cause of outrage amongst many parents. Is it really worth causing our children unnecessary pain in the name of vanity?Last month you may have seen the video of a 4 month old baby getting her ears pierced. It made national news and was the cause of outrage amongst many parents. Some even went as far as to accuse the tot’s mother of child abuse. I’ll be honest, when I saw it I felt disgusted. It was difficult to watch and even harder to understand. Why would any parent subject their child to unnecessary pain? 

You wouldn’t pierce your baby’s eyebrow so why would you pierce their ears?

I had my ears pierced when I was 8 years old. My mum endured months of nagging before finally giving in and agreeing to take me. Now at 26, I’m (thankfully) still as in love with my pierced ears as I was back then. That said I would still argue the toss with any parent who made that decision for their child.  I don’t believe for a second that an 8 year old is capable of understanding that every action has a  consequence. However I am positive that through persistent nagging, the piercing of my ears was a choice made only by me. 

As a parent can you honestly say you’ve never given into your child? At the end of a long day, when you’re running on empty there’s not much we wouldn’t do for 10 minutes peace. But how can anyone justify making that decision for a child who isn’t old enough to even walk? Let alone talk!

One excuse is that piercing a baby’s ears at that age means they won’t remember the pain. Do I remember the pain of having my ears pierced? Of course I don’t! I remember absolutely nothing about the piercing or even the unrelenting whinging which led up to that point. So much so that I had to call my mum while writing this post on confirm how old I actually was! 

 
Watching the video back I don’t know what concerns me more. The act itself or everyone’s reaction? To clap and laugh as a baby cries is something I find inhumane. Would you clap after your newborn has it’s first potentially life saving injections? I think not. Would you laugh if your toddler scrapes their knee? Of course you wouldn’t.
 
I’d like to assume that the majority of parents wouldn’t submit their children to needless suffering. But it seems that when it’s in the name of vanity it becomes socially acceptable.
 
While I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse the parents of abuse, what troubles me is that unlike tattoos there is no legal age restriction for body piercings. Although most salons impose their own restrictions, this means it’s completely legal for anyone under the age of 18 to have a piercing providing they have consent. Surly an industry which could potentially cause permanent disfiguration should be heavily regulated?  Why do we even live in a world where it’s legal for businesses to make money piercing infants? 
 
In my view, piercing’s on a baby are revolting. They represent a lack of compassion and reek of bad morals. Any parent who subjects their child to unnecessary pain so that they can look cute should be ashamed.
 
Children have rights. They own their bodies, regardless of whether their old enough to express their opinions or not. Let them live to regret their own mistakes and allow them to be young. Don’t force your children to follow the crowd before their even old enough to eat solid food! 
 
What’s your view of piercings on babies and toddlers?

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Piercing's on a Baby, are they cute or just plain cruel? Last month you may have seen the video of a 4 month old baby getting her ears pierced. It made national news and was the cause of outrage amongst many parents. Is it really worth causing our children unnecessary pain in the name of vanity?
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10 Comments

  1. August 8, 2017 / 10:43 am

    I hadn’t seen this, but it was hard to watch. I have 2 daughters, Aspen asked for many years, I agreed to let her do it once she was 10 if she still wanted to then. Which she did. April is now 1o and a half and still isn’t interested in getting hers done. My niece was done at 6 months, simply because no one my sister in law asked would do it earlier. She used to tell me all the time she was going to take Aspen as a baby and get hers done, she was teasing me, but she really though I should do it. To me it seems unsafe when they are so little, they can pull on them and cause injury and I worry about infections. Personally I think the child should be old enough to understand and make a choice knowing it will hurt and will require looking after. #draemteam
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  2. August 8, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I don’t really see the point of piercing a baby, to be honest – if they want earrings when they’re a bit older, they can make that choice. That being said, there’s something about the way the parents who pierced their kids have been vilified that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I know the internet loves a good witch hunt, but still….#dreamteam
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…My blogging income and stats reportMy Profile

  3. August 8, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Becky, I think many people are unintentionally rushing their children to grow up. I’m not even going to comment on piercings for infants, but giving in to a child’s begging to have her ears pierced or hair dyed or to wear makeup or high heels or grown-up styles is asking for trouble. What privileges are left for her when she’s 13 or 16? My parents weren’t even especially strict, but I remember talking to my mum about getting my ears pierced when I was 16 and she told me I’d have to wait till I was on my own. I was on my own for a couple of years before I got around to it. Lesson to mums: This week’s I’ll-just-die-if-I-can’t thing will pass, so hold your ground!
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  4. August 9, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    I nagged my parents for years about having my ears pierced, and they eventually relented when I was 13. I still love having them now and wearing cute earrings. But I would never pierce my kids’ ears.

    However, I have a Brazilian friend who told me that the baby nurse pierces all the girls’ ears in Brazil – apparently it’s a Latin American thing – it’s normal for them. I don’t think it’s up to us to judge another culture, even if it does seem unnecessary. The pain is momentary and not intentionally cruel. But I wouldn’t do it myself. #dreamteam
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  5. August 10, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch this to be honest. I was 5 when I had my ears pierced. I apparently nagged my mum too and eventually she took me and we had it done. I don’t remember having it done particularly but I do remember my Dad hitting the roof about it when we got home. I’ve never regretted it personally, but if my 4 year old asked to have hers done next year I would be horrified. I definitely don’t agree with putting an infant or child through any level of pain for cosmetic reasons. The only needle going near my two will be their vaccinations if I have anything to do with it! Each to their own and all that – but definitely not for this Momma! Thanks for linking with #DreamTeam x

  6. August 10, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    I agree – you wouldn’t pierce a baby’s tongue (well, at least, I hope you wouldn’t!), so why are ears OK? I do understand about cultural differences etc, but that doesn’t mean I like it. That video was so hard to watch, the fear and shock on the poor little one’s face made me hug my baby girl a little tighter. I’m all for each to their own, but personally, I’d agree with a piercing age limit to allow them to choose for themslves #DreamTeam

  7. August 14, 2017 / 1:11 am

    I think it is cruel and unfair too! Let them choose it and decide together whether or not it is age appropriate. My big was dying to have her ears pierced, and she asked if that could be her birthday present. On the day she turned 9, we all went together, after school, and had them pierced. Big is admittedly a bit weak in the knees, so she had to really want this… and so we let her do it on her time. I almost thought we would need crutches or a wheel chair, but she proved me wrong and was a bold, brave woman! #DreamTeam
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  8. August 14, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    I’m sorry but that video is disgusting, why would anyone do that to their child? All those people laughing as well? It’s horrible. I agree with everything you said, it is not up to us to decide whether our children have a piercing or not. I am not one for judging usually but I just don’t think this is OK at all xx #dreamteam
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  9. Lydia
    August 15, 2017 / 5:02 am

    I am British and I personally am unsure what I would do if I had a baby girl. My mum’s side of the family are Ghanaian and it is completely normal to pierce the girls ears when they are babies. It is not for vanity, it is a cultural thing. Nobody was paid to do it, family would do it. My dad is British and said we wouldn’t have ours done until we were old enough to decide. At 7 I was desperate to get them done and I still remember the pain now. It lasted only a second as it didn’t hurt after. However the aftercare was difficult for me as I was a child I just wanted to play I didn’t want to think about the cleaning and twisting etc so I really wished I had them pierced as a baby instead. My son had 2 severe phrenulotomy’s when he was only a couple of weeks old due to tongue tie that meant he couldn’t even drink milk from a syringe. We had many consultants explain to us that babies nervous systems are fully developed yet and there is no sensation in that part of the tongue but he screamed a blood curdling scream both times which was difficult to hear. I know it was actually because he didn’t like being restricted for the procedure not due to the pain as he was completely fine within minutes after. The point I’m making is it’s hard to know why the baby is crying and I’m sure they are clapping because she was brave and it’s over not because of the pain.

    As I said, I’m not sure what I would do however I’m. It going to judge people who make the choice to do this as a cultural thing. For vanity purposes I think it’s wrong. But I in no way think it’s child cruelty. There are much worse things that I as a child psychologist have unfortunately seen.

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