Baby ear piercing is not child abuse!

Right, this has been on my mind for a while since every few months a comment goes around Facebook stating that “Baby ear-piercing should be banned”, shows like Blinging up Baby (never seen it, but it started a Twitter row) set a bad example and every parent who apparently subjects their baby to this gross form of mutilation, is a child abuser on the same level as committing Female Genital Mutilation.

Now I was raised to respect all opinions, even those that I don’t agree with, but this latest version in which baby ear piercing is trying to be banned is brought to you by Ms Susan Ingram, who I can imagine is a wonderful woman, who decided to bring this upon us.

I especially love the part where it states

“It is a form of child cruelty. Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal- this should be no different.”

Right, because something that takes seconds, is child abuse, now this statement disgusts me because of the assumption that my parents who worked hard all their lives, raised four children, and are two of the most wonderful people you could even meet abused me and my sisters K and R, because we all had our ears pierced when we were six weeks old

Yes, 6 weeks old, by my first Christmas, you did read that correctly.

About a week after this picture was taken I had my ears pierced. Oh, the toddler is my sister R!

About a week after this picture was taken I had my ears pierced. Oh, the toddler is my sister R!

I guess back in 1980, people weren’t as uptight back then, and respected parents right to make decisions for their children, since my mum took me for my six week check-up, and then at the end my Doctor asked her if she wanted my ears pierced. Yes, we went to the Doctors, it was done in a sterile professional environment, I cried for about a minute and that was it…the end.

The fact that this was done by my GP, shows that my parents cared about my welfare and didn’t take me down the local tattoo parlour, because that’s pretty much what the petition indicates and they did it because they knew it would be easier to get it done as a baby, than wait until I was older.

Sadly as it happens, my tiny baby studs didn’t take very well, and shortly after I had them removed and the ears closed up. I can imagine a bad parents wouldn’t have cared, but my parents did the right thing and assured me that I could get them redone when I was older.

Cue the happy childhood, but I was painfully aware that I was different from my sisters, aside from the fact that their left handed along with my brother T.

They wore pretty studs, graduating to hoops and creole earrings and everything else since big was better in the 1980’s, and I didn’t. What made it worse was that so many members of my family didn’t realise that my ears were closed so brought me pretty earrings for my birthdays. I do remember getting a nice pair of ruby studs when I was seven and ten-year-old R’s eyes practically lit up since she knew they were now her’s.

This unfairity made me determined to get my ears pierced again, so in the end when I was eight, K took me to get them done again for my birthday (she paid, I was very happy). Thought I was ready, but nothing prepared me for the pain, even with the sleeper hoops in, and then infection because I didn’t clean them properly.

Yes me, my choice, my responsibility and my laziness. However my primary school was one of those where you didn’t have to tape your ears with PE or Sports Day, and taught us that if you ripped them it was your own fault, because schools in the 1980’s weren’t as uptight as they are now.

In the end, I was forced to take them out, because of it and I hated myself because I couldn’t deal. Even though mum assured me I could try again in my teens, which was poor consolation, but needs must.

So in my teenage years I had them done again, finally I could wear pretty earrings, finally I could be like everyone else and grew up to lose one of them after a night of clubbing. Yes, after that I only wore the cheap ones which turned green!

Now in my thirties, I hardly wear earrings, because of my job even though having the same holes pierced so many times it means I can push a stud through them with no problems.

So essentially, it’s no big deal. It’s not child abuse…it’s nothing.

Also one thing I can’t stand is this petition totally negates the cultural and historical significance of ear piercing, since it goes back thousands of years and King Tutankhamun was found with his ears pierced and remember he was known as the Boy King. Yes, I went on wiki…here is the link.

However this petition, to me just smacks of something out of 1984, Big Brother is Watching You. Deciding your every move, taking every piece of free speech from you, including how you raise your children.

Another thing it fails to mentions since it’s too busy in making its statement, “It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity.”

Right, because in some societies it has cultural and historical value which is negated due to the suggestion of vanity, which in truth does come across as both totalitarian and racist.

By some sheer coincidence, even though my family left Brazil in the 1890’s. It’s common for babies to leave the Hospital, with their ears pierced as for a baby girl, it’s a symbol of femininity, and it’s traditional. So who the hell is anyone to tell you it’s wrong, especially the State?

Another thing is if we remove this power from the parents, then who decides how old someone is, a piercing is a lot different from a tattoo when the legal age is 18. Should there be a set age, or do we just wait until the child says. “Mum, I want my ears pierced”. At least by doing it younger, you’re reducing pain and infection and isn’t that a good thing?

However, I can see things from both points of view, hence the reason I posted the link, and if you want to sigh the petition, then knock yourself out, and join the 40’000 odd people with nothing better to do. Perhaps you see it as tacky or too working class? Because, perhaps you need a reason.

But as someone who had them done at a young age, and grew up fine. All I can say, as eloquently as possible to Sarah Ingram and to every single one of you.

Mind your own damn business.

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