Thanks to social media, parents can happily capture and share just about every waking moment of their baby's life. Being able to capture baby's firsts is especially exciting, but one mother's video of her infant's special moment has people in an uproar. People are claiming the mom abused her daughter by having her ears pierced, bringing the ongoing debate on whether or not babies should get their ears pierced at all back in the spotlight.
The video was posted to a Facebook group, where it amassed nearly 4 million views before it was ultimately taken down, but it's still available on YouTube. The mother was shown holding a wiggly 4-month-old girl in her lap in what appears to be a mall piercing shop — the ambient noise and Chick-fil-A cup in the background were a dead giveaway. The baby was all coos and giggles as a worker applied alcohol rubs to each ear lobe. Another worker joined her, positioning himself at the baby's other ear as they each held a piercing gun.
On the count of three, the pair simultaneously pierced both of the baby's ears and the little one burst into tears, but was quickly soothed within seconds by her mom. Both the Facebook comments and widespread reaction online have been pretty outspoken.
Truth be told, there's a case that can be made for both sides of the ear-piercing debate. I remember vividly having my ears pierced when I turned 13: I was only allowed to have it done at my pediatrician's office and only when I was officially a teenager. As for many young women, ear piercing was a personal rite of passage.
For some parents, the decision to pierce their baby's ears is black and white: On the one side, there are parents who are adamantly against it, many citing that children — infants especially — aren't old enough or able to make the decision for themselves. On the other side of the debate are the parents who feel that it's within their rights to make these kinds of decisions for their children. Some reactions to the video likened the controversy of baby ear piercing to the practice of circumcision on baby boys. The same arguments can be made about consent versus notions of culture and visual aesthetics.
Are baby ear piercings or circumcision child abuse? Not according to any laws on the books in the United States — but there's no doubt that it's a hot debate in parenting, regardless of what the law says. You can watch the video for yourself above and decide.