The situations in which I have felt judged, shamed or ridiculed as a mother have, in all honesty, been surprising. Sure, I've received some backlash for breastfeeding in public and, yes, some people couldn't seem to understand why I would co-sleep with my son. However, I've noticed that my appearance, more than anything else, has been the source of other people's judgement. So, I would be lying if I said I haven't grown ridiculously tired of the things people say to moms with facial piercings, because I have. Between my nose ring, my lip ring, two dermal piercings and my tattoos, I've had enough.
In a way, I'm not surprised. I was judged for my appearance before I became a mother (like most, er, all women are) and the unsolicited commentary about my image or perceived attractiveness is, sadly, something to be expected. Catcalling and stress harassment are so prevalent, women can't walk to work without having someone call out at them. However, I have noticed how the commentary regarding my appearance, while ongoing, has changed. Before I became a mother, my tattoos and piercings were sexualized. Now they're used as a reminder that I'm a mother now. They're "no longer appropriate" or "sending the wrong message" or potentially "embarrassing for my son" and, in the end, are things I need to remove from my person in order to fit into a specific image society has arbitrarily deemed "mom-like."
Anyone who has tattoos or facial piercings (or any other kind of piercing, for that matter) knows that the aforementioned is an outward expression of who you are as an individual. While so much of my life changed after having a baby, I didn't. I'm still the same me, with a few altercations, and I'm not going to alter my entire existence or scrub my personality in the name of motherhood. So, with that in mind, here are just a few things I've heard over the years about my facial piercings that I'd really, really, love to never hear again.