Mom shaming on social media seems to be a daily occurrence, as naysayers chastise celebrity mothers for every parenting move they make.
The latest target is singer and actress Hilary Duff, who posted a sweet photo of her eight-month-old daughter sticking out her tongue and donning adorable dimples on her Instagram Stories. Commenters noticed the little girls’ ears were pierced and claimed piercing a child’s ears without consent is a form of child abuse.
“I can't believe someone who seemed [to have her head] so screwed on pierced her babies ears, causing unnecessary pain that isn't for medical reasons done by a fully qualified medical professional, is child abuse in my eyes, the risks are unreal and that throbbing pain in her ears no matter how happy and looked after your child is just isn't justified in my eyes,” one person wrote.
Others replied by saying that she’s just lost followers and her choice to inflict unnecessary pain on her child is a major cause for concern.
When I had my first baby girl, I chose to wait to pierce her ears. Not because I thought that piercing my baby’s ears would inflict severe pain or cause fear, but because I wanted the choice to be hers.
That being said, I know many people who have chosen to pierce their baby’s ears at an early age and I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Last year, an online campaign was launched in the UK and it has caused a great deal of controversy surrounding the subject of babies and ear piercing. The campaign urges parents to sign a petition against piercing the ears of young children, claiming that it is a form of child cruelty and that its only purpose is to satisfy the vanity of the parents involved. The petitioner claims that other forms of physical harm inflicted upon a child are illegal, and that ear piercing should be considered no different.
While the petition has received significant support from many parents, with over 80,000 signatures, I fail to see the rationality behind the outrage on this matter.
Parents compare ear piercing to child abuse and refer to the act as equal to taking a child for a tattoo against their will. I think these comparisons are absurd and incomparable.
Many supporters of the petition stress that there are no medical benefits to ear piercing, and that young children should have the right to consent before anything happens to their bodies.
I think more children have become emotionally distraught over having to go for a haircut than they have over having a quick pinch in the earlobes. There are no medical benefits to a haircut, yet most parents will cut their child’s hair without a second thought - even if their child screams and resists. Many young children who go for haircuts are not old enough to consent, so is cutting a child’s hair equally as cruel?
Hair grows back, and piercings do too.
In many cultures, it is customary to pierce the ears of baby girls moments after they are born, and the procedure is done right in the hospital. It’s quick, temporary, and if done properly, the procedure is virtually painless.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there's little risk at any age if the piercing is performed carefully and cared for conscientiously.
I’m sure if a survey was conducted on how many parents see this as a non-issue, the numbers would be equally as impressive as the number of signatures gained on the silly anti-piercing survey. There are so many more important issues in this world when it comes to the well-being of children. If a parent wants to pierce their child’s ears, keep the cutting criticisms to yourself.
Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, writer, editor, and marketing consultant. Find her on Twitter @biancabujan and Instagram @bitsofbee.