Am I not pretty enough…?

Not my baby.

Not my baby.

Last week I attended a community playgroup; a small one where only seven or eight new mums attended. As my own nine month old played with sparkly, shiny things and rattles, I noticed a particular baby girl on the other side of the mat.

She was the typical ‘dolled’ up little girl – dressed all in pink with a fluffy skirt, long sleeved pink shirt, pink socks and a pink headband with an oversized pink flower. She couldn’t have been more than eight months – not crawling, not standing, not walking but sitting and tummy timing it. A big girl at that, but a cutie.

The first thing I noticed, over and above the intense pink parade vomited directly into my eyes, was not her face but her ears. Her ears were pierced and she wore tiny gold earrings. Needless to say I baulked at the sight but kept my mouth shut and continued to chat with the mums I already knew.

Looking back, I would have liked to have broken up the conversation and gone to ask that pink baby mama, ‘Why did you pierce your daughter’s ears?’.

I was eight years when I had mine pierced and it didn’t end well…I’m allergic to fake gold/gold plated jewellery so the itching wouldn’t let up. Over the years, I stopped wearing earrings (actually, I never wore them at all as a teenager) and even though the holes have closed up, I can still push an earring through but the jewellery has to be real (Tiffany & Co anyone?).

I’m just not a jewellery wearing type of girl. Perhaps because it’s this reason I won’t be putting any holes in my daughter’s ears until she can make that choice herself and deal with the after effects (if she is allergic like me) but perhaps the biggest reason…isn’t jewellery used as a means to ‘pretty’ oneself up and feel good?

Let’s not look at tradition and culture; that I understand – and I mean voodoo/rainforest/African desert type of people. Don’t women wear jewellery to make themselves more attractive? That’s how I see jewellery…and I suppose to signify social status.

My personal opinion, and in my opinion only, babies are beautiful as they are. They are ‘au naturale’. They don’t need frilly dresses or Prada shoes to show off their beauty…headbands and clips for little girls are probably the extent to which I would ‘prettify’ my girl. Having said that, my daughter has pretty long hair already (yes, even at nine months!) and it gets in her eyes all the time so the biggest reason for hair accessories is to keep the locks out of her face.

Again…not my baby.

Again…not my baby.

To me, earrings are a cosmetic thing and my baby girl is beautiful the way she is. The majority of mums I know, when I asked the question online on varying forums, say they would leave their daughter’s body alone and wait until she could make the decision on her own. The others who had had it done say it was either a tradition in the family or it was just ‘cute. Cute? Really? Your baby girl’s not cute enough already you have to doll her up with flashy gold or silver?

One mum made a valid point:

“Jewellery on a baby, I mean, why? What is the purpose? It just seems very cosmetic and aesthetically motivated to me. I mean, would you dye your baby’s hair?..would you tattoo them? To me it’s…definitely not something that needs to be done as a baby.” – Carly May Carnage.

And another on the other side of the debate:

“I think we do things to our children that is not their choice all the time. So I don’t believe the whole ‘it’s their body, their choice’. I think parents make the best decisions they can at the time…look at vaccinations, the child doesn’t have a choice yet they are held tight and jabbed. It’s stressful. I know that they are two different things but still that decision is not made by the child.” – Name withheld.

It makes me question, the mums who have their baby’s ears pierced, are they the same sort of mums who allow their not-yet-teen daughters to wear make up, short skirts and the like? Or will it be a hypocrisy in that the mum can do what she wants to her daughter’s body but when the daughter herself wants something else (i.e. tattoo at an under age) she won’t be allowed to because it’s not mum’s choice?

Curiouser and curiouser…

(Comment below with your thoughts – I’d would love to hear from you whether you are for or against ear piercing babies and why; even if you have only sons!).

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Comments

  1. I could never even think about piercing my baby’s ears. Ouch!!

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