There's NOTHING Cruel About Piercing My Baby's Ears

Rant 88

I'm always amused when I hear people say that piercing an infant baby girl's ears is wrong. I guess it has to do with cultural differences because in many parts of the world, including Latin America -- where I come from -- it's totally normal for baby girls to leave the hospital with their ears pierced. People will always criticize what they don't know and don't understand. And so, it's actually good for us to have these types of discussions, especially considering the huge (and constantly growing) number of Latinos in this country.

What really bothers me is that someone would actually consider this tradition "borderline child abuse" as stated by the person who sent a letter to the Dear Mary Ann column at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Borderline child abuse? Really? Now that is totally crazy!

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For Latina moms, piercing their baby girls' ears has nothing to do with vanity. It's simply a cultural tradition. So much so that I freaked out when I learned my first child was a girl because I had no idea where I would take her to get her ears pierced. It took me four months to finally come to the realization that I'd have to take her to a regular kiddie salon to get it done and that she'd finally be able to wear the tiny gold studs my grandmother had brought for her all the way from Peru.

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The procedure lasted all of five seconds (they pierced both ears at the same time) and although Vanessa's crying broke my heart, she was perfectly fine 30 seconds later. And I can't tell you how incredibly cute she looked and how relieved I felt that I'd finally gotten around to getting her ears pierced, like a good Latina baby.

We recently went to Mexico and I let Vanessa choose a pair of gold earrings. She was super excited and chose the cutest tiny pearl earring with a little gold leaf. She's never said she doesn't like wearing earrings, but if she ever did, I would have no problem whatsoever if she never uses them again.

I, on the other hand, will always feel like a naked Latina if I leave my home without earrings. I guess it's a cultural thing ...

This post was written by Roxana A. Soto for MamásLatinas.com


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Image via Jodi Goldstein

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Pinkmani Pinkmani

It's not child abuse, or anywhere near it. There are more things to worry about than piercing ears. Moms can be so judgemental. Instead of criticing one another, why won't parents help one another.


Side note: I've always said that I was a Latina is my past life. 

Bloom... Bloomie79

I always love it when people spout off their crazy opinions with no regard for cultural, historical, or religious beliefs. It must be nice to be so sure and right about everything all the time.

BPayne09 BPayne09

My niece who is now 5 is from Ghana and she had been there since she was a few days old up until about 9 months ago when she was adopted by my brother and sister in law. Her ears were pierced very early on because its easier for them to tell apart the girls from boys without checking the obvious. Some places it's the norm. People need to just chill out and mind their own business.

linzemae linzemae

I plan on letting it be my daughters decision.

nonmember avatar Dee

Its much easier when they're little. I later got several more holes put in and developed infections, they closed, etc. but the ones my mom did when I was a baby are perfect and have always stayed open. But I'm Latina so...

RiotP... RiotPixie

I had my ears pierced as a baby. Now, being the mom of 2 girls and a boy, I have yet make my decision. I want to pierce my girls ears (they are 1 and 2), but I'm not sure about it yet. They tend to pull on their ears and I don't want them to pull earrings out and swallow them.

loves... lovesouldoula

Just because something is part of "culture" doesn't make it right. Piercings are technically a modification of one's body. Why not let the owner of the body decide if he/she wants his/her body modified when they are old enough to decide. Its not rocket science. And if you still want to modify your baby's body without their consent then just say it like it is and stand by your decision. Just say, I'm taking ownership of this body because I birthed it and I decided she/he is getting holes in her ears whether she likes it or not. But don't blame it on "culture" especially when there are so many beautiful things about latin culture that don't involve pain or body modification. And to the above commenter who said its easier to tell the girls from the boys this way, c'mon, please go somewhere else with that nonsense. That statement is wrong on many levels. Please, stay in school.

miche... micheledo

We didn't pierce our daughters ears. That will be her decision one day. However at one time I thought I would be living i nWest Africa and having our children there. If that was the case our daughter would have her ears pierced. It is a cultural thing and not something I see as right or wrong.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Whatever helps you sleep at night. Just because something is considered normal in some cultures doesn't mean it's acceptable. Foot binding was considered acceptable in China not that long ago but only a complete idiot would say that it's not barbaric.



Piercings are permanent and parents have no right to decide on such cosmetic procedures for their children. So what if it only hurts them for a few seconds? It scars them for life. If someone wants bodily modifications like piercings or tattoos as an adult that is fine but don't force them on a little child just because you don't think they're cute enough without earrings.

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