During my first pregnancy years ago, my husband and I talked about getting the baby’s ears pierced if the baby turned out to be a girl.
He thought we should go ahead and do it soon after birth. He is from India, where babies’ ears are pierced very early.
He even approached it from a practical standpoint: she will likely have her ears pierced at some point in her life. Why not help her avoid the pain later and have it done for her when she’s a baby and too young to remember?
I argued that we should wait and let her pierce her ears at an “appropriate” age.
I had to wait until I was a teenager before my parents would let me pierce my ears. It was a grownup privilege, to be earned, in my parents’ way of thinking. Not the least because it’s a (mostly) permanent – and cosmetic – change you’re making to your body.
It was thought to be along the lines of wearing makeup, which was also a no-no until I reached a certain age.
Now that I’m actually a grownup, I can understand why they felt like that. I agree that it’s important to avoid focusing on physical aspects of beauty from too young an age, to give girls a chance to develop confidence and a sense of self that doesn’t rely on cosmetic enhancements.
But do earrings even qualify as something along those lines? What about cute girls’ clothing, then? Where would you even draw a line?
From a practical view, I worried about the baby’s clothing catching on the studs in her ears.
To be fair, I hadn’t done any research. I hadn’t really taken notice of babies with earrings or talked to other moms who had gone ahead and pierced their baby’s ears. I am mostly going on a gut feeling here.
Well, my husband and I never had to disagree for long – we now have two boys, so the question never came up again.
But I always wondered, what if we’d had a girl? Would we have ended up piercing her ears?
What about you? Did you pierce your baby’s ears?