To pierce or not to pierce an infant’s ears? That’s the question kicking up dust in the parenting blogosphere, with moms on either side debating what, for some, is a cultural tradition while others simply like how it looks.
Last week a letter signed “Leave Those Kids Alone” in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette’s advice column called infant ear piercing “borderline child abuse.”
“The child certainly has no input in the decision,” the letter argues. “Why not get the baby some really cool tattoos as well?”
The Post-Gazette’s Dear Mary Ann responds that while controversial in parts of the U.S., babies in many other countries often leave the hospital “with her little gold studs in place.” Mary Ann concludes there’s no right or wrong answer. To pierce or not to pierce a baby’s ears — like so many other aesthetic decisions — is firmly a parent’s prerogative.
That same day, over at online community CafeMom, one of their “Stir Bloggers” posted a swift reaction to the Post-Gazette, agreeing with the reader that “Parents Who Pierce Their Baby’s Ears Are Just Plain Cruel”:
“Here you have this perfect little angel who is sugar and spice and everything nice—and you want to go pierce two tiny holes through her earlobes and cause her pain simply because you think she’ll look cute in a pair of heart-shaped studs?”
“For Latina moms, piercing their baby girls’ ears has nothing to do with vanity. It’s simply a cultural tradition. So much so that I freaked out when I learned my first child was a girl because I had no idea where I would take her to get her ears pierced.”
So which is it, a harmless cultural tradition and a matter of personal taste, or a painful, unnecessary ordeal inflicted by mean parents?