Ear piercing a subject of debate in my family

My five year old girl wants to have her ears pierced. After all, the older women in her life wear earrings! I do not wear make up, but I wear golden earrings, and all our female relatives (both sides of the family) wear them.  She knows earrings adorn our ears. What she does not know, is that there has been a cultural debate about the subject in the family since before her oldest brother was born.

And I know I am the mother and I should have stood up to my culture and beliefs.  But I do believe in respecting my husband’s opinion and culture also. So instead of fighting I am building up my case to show him why putting earrings on little girls or even baby girls is not necessarily wrong and perhaps safest.

In the United States and many parts of Europe,  many  let the child decide at a certain age.  Many European Americans do not wear earrings.  I do believe that religion has had a lot to do with the subject, in the Bible 1st Timothy 2:9-10 says “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God”.

Perhaps there has been a religious influence in the European side of the United States?   Many great grand mothers and grandmothers never worn earrings!
Here is a very interesting opinion I received:

It’s funny how things have changed even just in the US. My mother came from a fairly conservative family, and her parents didn’t want her to get her ears pierced. (I don’t think either of my grandmothers had pierced ears. They always used clip-ons, which is another form of mutilation, if you ask me!). So my mom did hers when she went off to college, using a pin and an ice cube. Based on her experience, she wanted my sister and I to be able to get ours done, so we did it when we were 5.           L. G.

In the United States, the biggest issue comes in when is the best time to have the ears pierced.  In Latin America and Spain girls are pierced at birth or a few days after they are born, but a lot of European Americans think that piercing ears has to be the girl’s decision, and even consider border line child abuse when is done at birth.

As you will see in this opinion

 I’ll be honest, I hate it, I think it’s child mutilation. The children should make the decision when they are older, not their parents!           A.L.

This opinion and the article in the link, made me think that maybe a mother that yells at her children and mistreats them is being more abusive to them than the one that made the baby girl look like a girl. But at the same time lets the child make the decision when the time comes.

The Hispanic argument is that baby girls do not feel as much pain, and if you take good care of the baby ears there is no risk of infection.

Yo se los puse a mis dos niñas en cuanto ya tuvieron sus vacunas-6 meses. Si, pienso que es mejor de chiquitas-mis niñas ni se dieron cuenta ya que es tan rápido.                  L.V.

I put earrings on my 2 little girls, after their vaccinations, at 6 month of age. I think its better when they are younger. It is so fast, they didn’t even realize.           L.V.

Or this opinion,

Siempre más pequeña es más fácil porque no se infectan tanto y aquí es para identificar como niña también.     T.H.

It is always easier when they are younger, there is no risk of infections. And here (Bolivia) to identify her as a girl.     T.H.

This last opinion made me think that not many years ago it was not as easy to know the gender of a baby before the baby was born.  Even the market was not so inundated with new born baby boy or baby girl clothes. Perhaps in some countries earrings were definitely the detail that made the difference between a baby boy or girl.

Heres the opinion of a Latino Doctor and Mother living in Italy

…. aquí no les ponen. Nosotros le pusimos a los 2 dias de nacida como en Bolivia y todas las amiguitas alucinan con sus aretes porque aqui se los ponen cuando son adolescentes (o casi) el 99% de los casos. Y si, concuerdo en que después se infecta, duele más, quieren mas de un hoyito, en la nariz, etc, etc. Mejor verlo como algo normal…   X.S.

….. here they don’t put earrings on babies.  We put earrings on our baby girl two days after she was born, like in Bolivia. And all her little friends love them, because here girls get to wear them in the teenage years (99% of cases). And I agree that risks of infections are higher, it hurts more, they want more than just one little hole, on the nose, etc.  It is better to see it as something normal.      X.S.

This  reminded me of the time I wanted one more hole on my right earl  When the man was ready to do it, I said, “STOP! I think I am happy with my single hole”.  It would be probably hard for me to accept more than just ears pierced on my girls.

A lot of women in the States opt for no earrings at all, and they feel comfortable and happy with themselves. They don’t even allow pier pressure or society to change their minds, like this beautiful bride. (Thank you Jennifer for allowing me to share the story).

My oldest daughter has never wanted to pierce her ears. When she got married in Peru in December, the man who did her hair was horrified and try to convince her to leave her hair down to cover the her ears.  I think she looks fine.               JB

Jennifer Brunk's photo.

I personally think she looks gorgeous! I can hardly tell that she is not wearing earrings!

And finally, a very interesting point of view and advise, especially for me since my girls are not babies anymore.

 I am the only one of the ten children in my family with pierced ears. Mine were done at 23. I think it’s much easier to space them perfectly if you get them done when you are older (and can be trusted to sit still, not panic, etc). There is no question at that point that it is your decision.    M.S.

If one of your ears is different from the other, is not a bad idea to wait for a perfect spacing.

Well, like I said before, I am already late for the baby piercing.  Probably the best is to wait for a while until five year old Abs learns to hold still, not touch the sore ear and not change clothes so often.
For now she may be wearing the stick on earrings that Mama Pochita, her Latino abuelita, sent last Christmas.

And I must not forget that her personality and character is what define her, not her earrings!

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