Yeah, you see them all around – little newborn bundles of joy with wee, teeny, tiny earrings . Between white and Latino Americans, there's a bit of a cultural divide as to whether having your infant girl's ears pierced is a tacky practice bordering on abuse, or a normal, traditional, and totally cute phenomenon.
An interesting article surfaced on the New York Times website recently, challenging some of our preconceived notions about giving baby her first bling. Culturally sensitive, the piece is not – but it is intriguing. "I learned in a hospital-sponsored prenatal class, where all of the other moms were Colombian, Venezuelan or Cuban-American. Moreover, piercing babies’ ears is the custom of the country where we all now live, which is to say Miami," says author Eleni N. Gage as she frets over whether to have her daughter pierced. "Was I being cruel to deny my daughter something that everyone around her seemed to be consider a God-given right for a female?" That's not exactly how we would have couched the issue (she seems very hung up on what other people are doing and the idea that women are supposed to have earrings), but the overall question is an interesting one. In the end – as a nod to her husband's heritage and what she sees as the prevailing Miami style – Gage consents and her daughter is pierced in a doctor's office. But look around Miami. Is the sight of babies with little earrings really that overwhelming. Is this really our norm? Frankly, we're confused and on the fence. So you tell us, are baby piercings our local norm? Are they tacky? Is it cruel to do to a child of that age or, as Gage suggests, is it cruel not to do it? Comment away, friends. (New York TImes)
Image: Via The New York Times.