I couldn’t help but notice the large crowd that surrounded a young mother and her infant daughter in a costume jewelry shop in the mall this past weekend. The poor baby. She was all smiles, oblivious to what was coming next. As the attendant drew marks on the infant’s ear lobes, she just sat there taking in the passerby as they stared into the glass, causing a gaper’s delay. The baby’s cosmetic ritual into adulthood was on display for the whole world to know. She had no clue what was coming next.
What this little baby didn’t know, she was about to get a sharp jab of pain, but not to protect her from disease or illness, but in order to don something sparkly embedded in her flesh. She was about to get her ears pierced.
I didn’t bother staying for the puncture. It really bothered me. Pain for aesthetics, at only 6 months or so? It didn’t seem right. In fact, it seemed cruel.
I guess one could make an argument; little girls with earrings are cute. But it’s cute for adults, no 6-month-old can appreciate they look “pretty.”
I remember getting my ears pierced after begging my mother for years as a young girl. She finally relented when I was 10 or so. As much as I tried to care for them, having a somewhat inattentive mother didn’t help the healing process and I wound up with serious infections and scar tissue that had to be removed years later. While I’m glad I have my ears pierced now, I always thought I should have listened to my mother and waited until I was more mature. I also recall my earlobes throbbing for a good three days or so. It’s not the kind of pain I wish upon any non-consenting infant.
So, what do you think? Am I right or wrong? Is piercing a baby’s ears cute, trashy or just plain mean?