To pierce or not to pierce

“I’m gonna get my ears pierced hahaha I’m scared x”

So read the text message I received from my 18 year old daughter a few minutes ago; it made me smile- it was a proud smile. I’m proud that my girl took the time to consider this action (two years) and I’m proud that she didn’t just follow the crowd when she was a pre-teen.

Although I have had several piercings myself (ears and nose) I am now down to a single hole in each ear lobe. I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with young children having holes made in their bodies. Some young girls with pierced ears are literally babies, and I’m sure it wasn’t their choice to have their bodies mutilated.

More and more here in England we are also seeing little boys who are not yet old enough to even go to school, sporting a pierced ear or two. Did they pressurise their parents into taking them to the piercing salon? Did their parents make the decision on their behalf  in order to have a new “cool” accessory?

I remember my son being in single figures, and he was interested in identifying car badges on passing cars, playing football, skateboarding, pokemon cards and climbing on stuff. I can’t imagine there was a single moment when he thought he ought to have his ear(s) pierced. And if there had been and if he’d voiced it I would have simply told him he’d have to wait until he was sixteen because it’s against the law*.

Same as I told my daughter. (*In the UK you have to be 16 to have a piercing unless accompanied by a consenting responsible adult)

Piercing can be painful. You can get an infection, then it’s more painful than ever. The piercing needs to be looked after for a few weeks, bathed, cleaned, twiddled, given some TLC. Until a person is old enough to understand and accept responsibility for all this, I don’t believe they should be pierced.

Well, Nee has arrived home with her slightly throbbing ear lobes studded with titanium and a list of care instructions and a bottle of something antiseptic. She looks pretty, but then she always has (it’s her father’s genes of course), and I will never again be stuck for an  idea when auntie or granny asks me, “What would Nee like for her birthday?”


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