This link – “http://thefeministbreeder.com/no-my-mexican-babys-ears-will-not-be-pierced/,” made me think about what I wanted to do with Abby. I know that I want to wait, but it’s just a matter of how long. I had to wait until I was 10, so ideally, I’d like to make her wait that long.
There are several reasons for me making her wait. First and foremost is that it’s her decision. She may not want pierced ears. I think that it’s highly unlikely though, since I have mine done, and most of her peers probably will as well. Secondly, is that it’s a way to teach her independence and responsibility. I took care of mine as directed and they started to get infected. My mom thought that I was just not taking care of them. So we took them out. She was telling my aunt (dad’s sister) about it, and it came to light that she has a metal allergy. She told mom to try silver jewelry instead of gold. My ears cleared up after that. Turns out I have it too. Earrings, rings, necklaces, belt buckles… any metal that touches my skin will make me break out with itchy hives within 24 hours. I covered the underside of my watch with clear nail polish and my belt buckles so they wouldn’t come in contact with skin. I slowly learned what I could and couldn’t wear.
But I nor my mom would have ever figured it out if I didn’t know how to communicate that it hurt or was itchy. I think that if I were younger, I could have seriously damaged my earlobes by pulling on them or rubbing up against things. When she is ready, it’ll be a trip to the doctor (if they do them) or a tattoo parlor where they can get done properly. At the kiosks in the mall (I hate malls anyway), they use a gun to pierce, which leads to more tissue damage due to the blunt force trauma. The piercing studs they use are more of slightly sharper earrings than a pointy needle as they should be. Another reason it think it’s a bad idea when she’s young is the risk of infection (other than a metal allergy). Little kids are still working their immune system up, and introducing something like this needlessly is not a good idea.
There’s no cultural link that I have to piercing her ears as the blog post, but I do understand her wanting to distinguish that her girl is in fact a girl. Since we chose a lot of gender neutral items (green carseat, blankets), we had lots of people ask “How old is he?” We started putting her in a pink hat… and in the summer, it’ll be a fabric headband, ’cause we’re not piercing those little ears without her permission.