I'm always amused when I hear people say that piercing an infant baby girl's ears is wrong. I guess it has to do with cultural differences because in many parts of the world, including Latin America--where I come from--it's totally normal for baby girls to leave the hospital with their ears pierced. People will always criticize what they don't know and don't understand. And so, it's actually good for us to have these type of discussions, especially considering the huge (and constantly growing) number of Latinos in this country.

What really bothers me is that someone would actually consider this tradition "borderline child abuse" as stated by the person who sent a letter to the Dear Mary Ann column at thePittsburgh Post Gazette. Borderline child abuse? Really? Now that is totally crazy!

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. It took me four months to finally come to the realization that I'd have to take her to a regular kiddie salon to get it done and that she'd finally be able to wear the tiny gold studs my grandmother had brought for her all the way from Peru.

The procedure lasted all of five seconds (they pierced both ears at the same time) and although Vanessa's crying broke my heart, she was perfectly fine 30 seconds later. And I can't tell you how incredibly cute she looked and how relieved I felt that I'd finally gotten around to getting her ears pierced, like a good Latina baby.

We recently went to Mexico and I let Vanessa choose a pair of gold earrings. She was super excited and chose the cutest tiny pearl earring with a little gold leaf. She's never said she doesn't like wearing earrings, but if she ever did, I would have no problem whatsoever if she never uses them again.

I, on the other hand, will always feel like a naked Latina if I leave my home without earrings. I guess it's a cultural thing...

Image via ryanrocketship/flickr

Add Comment What do you think about ear piercing for little girls?
About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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Add Comment What do you think about ear piercing for little girls?

catra...

tiene toda la razon  eso no es malo abrirles las orejas a nuestros hijos mi bebe tiene 4 meses y en una semana voy a llevarla a un lugar que se la abran seba aver tan linda  eso es normal

Yo estoy de acuerdo con ponerles Los aretes a las ninas desde que estan Chiquitas de echo yo le puse sus aretes a mi hija a Los 2 meses de nacida y ya tiene 8 anos y le encanta usar diferentes aretes...
I agreed with you. Is a cultural thing. I pierce my 2 girls ear lobes when they were still very small. If ear piercing an infant is child abuse, what about circumcision? We Latinas have our traditions and we will continue to do so.
When my daughter was born 16yrs ago I was wondering, who is going to pierce my daughter's ears and to my surprise her pediatrician pierced them for her and she was one week old. She looked lovely.
Flora...

Hola,yo tengo tres hijas,la primera nacio en Mexico y al primer dia de nacida en el hospital le pusieron sus aretes,mi segunda hija nacio en Houston Tx,y una conocida le puso los aretes alas dos semanas de nacida,mi tercera hija tuve que esperar tres meses para que se los pusieran en el Walt-Mart y no todos los Walt-mart tienen las mismas politicas en uno querian que me esperara hasta los 6 meses ,pero es que mientras mas grandes esten las ninas mas les duele a diferencia que cuando lo ponen recien nacidas no lloran nada y no hay que cuidarle tanto, ellas estan contentas con sus aretes . No creo que eso sea abuso 

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