We all love Teen Mom Farrah Abraham and think she is a great mom, so let's get that straight from the get-go. But the decision she made to get her 3-year-old daughter Sophia's ears pierced this weekend is not one I agree with at all.
Farrah proudly tweeted out adorable photos of little Sophia looking so grown up with her pierced ears and while there is no doubt she is adorable and it is every moms choice, I also cringed a bit when I saw the photos. After all, ear piercing is painful and it is entirely cosmetic.
Most controversial parenting decisions -- vaccination, circumcision -- have some kind of health benefit. Parents who choose to circumcise or vaccinate can always fall back on the prevailing wisdom that says those choices are healthier. Pierced ears have no such wisdom. In fact, they can be detrimental to health.
As a little girl, I got my ears pieced and they promptly became infected (I think I was five). I can still remember the excruciating pain I was in when my mother had to pull the earring out from my crusty and scabbed over ear lobes.
Until my daughter is old enough to care for her ears herself and truly ask for pierced ears (and understand what they are), then the answer will be no.
A little girl should be running and playing and jumping and rolling through the dirt, not stressing about the cleanliness of the open sores in her ears.
Besides, there is only one reason to get pierced ears: beauty. That's it. They serve no other purpose except as another means to adorn oneself. It sends a message I would not want to send to my girl. As in: you must be pretty and constantly well accessorized to be female.
Don't get me wrong, if my daughter really wants it, I won't stop her. I am not that against it. But at three? No. I realize for some cultures, it is the norm to do it at birth and obviously to each their own.
But as a mom of a 5-year-old girl, I can't imagine having done it any earlier and I can't imagine saying yes to it now either. Maybe later. When she is older. But I would never have even considered it before it was even her idea.
The pain of my own infected ear lobes still reverberates through my head. No way would I put my daughter through that for a little bit of prettiness, especially when she already has so much all on her own.
Would you let your 3-year-old get pierced ears?
Image via monicasecas/Flickr