Don't tell me when my daughter's old enough for pierced ears!
Call me insensitive, but I find this really funny: An op-ed piece in The New York Times stirred up a huge debate about whether it's ok to have your daughter's ears pierced when she's a baby--like many of us Latina moms do. First of all, I find it funny because, really, who cares? I mean, in the grand scheme of things, how is this even important? Secondly, I'm not sure I'd call this a tradition, but every single one of my friends back in Peru had their ears pierced as babies and did the same thing with their girls once they were born. In fact, I don't know if it's still done, but back in my time, newborn girls left the hospital with their ears pierced!
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I cannot tell you how I wished that had been an option when I gave birth to my daughter almost six years ago. Instead, I had to search high and low for a pediatrician who'd be willing to do this apparently torturous procedure on my daughter--and scar her for life in the process. Whatever!
Anyhow, I never did find a doctor willing to pierce my daughter's ears and so, reluctantly, I took her to one of those kiddy salons when she was 4-months old (I can't believe I had to wait so long!) and got it done there. It took all of 5 seconds and both ears were done at the same time (by what looked like a 12-year-old). Vanessa's cries undoubtedly pierced my heart, but just as quickly as it all got started, it was over! The result: my baby looked absolutely adorable with her two little pearl earrings!
While I respect other moms' decisions not to "do" this to their daughters, I expect to get back the same kind of respect. That clearly is not the goal of some of the people leaving comments in the Time's op-ed where they're are comparing ear piercing with mutilation, the Chinese custom of foot binding and ancient tribal practices. Or how about those who think that if you pierce your baby's ears you might as well get her a tattoo.
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But the comments I have the most problems with are the ones that insult my culture saying that ear piercing for babies is low class. Can someone please tell me what one thing has to do with the other? This comment, however, takes the cake:
If you cannot learn to appreciate the beauty of a baby girl with natural, pierce-less ears, than maybe you don't belong in our culture.
Is this person for real? We're only talking about ear piercing, people...
What do you think about ear piercing for little girls?
Image via javaturtle/flickr