The reasons to allow individuals to choose body modifications for themselves as consenting adults, versus pushing them upon children as babies or minors are numerous. Human rights aside, piercing, tattooing, cutting, or altering the healthy body of a non-consenting minor child without medical need and benefit is not without pain and risk -- both immediately and long-term. Helen Houghton of Holier Than Thou, a piercing, tattooing, and body modification specialty venue in Manchester, UK, highlights one case in which these measures (the piercing of a little girl's ears as a young child) carried with it not only the immediate trauma this small child was put through, but the repercussions she faced going forward throughout her development -- even having doctors tell her they could "not help her" or that what she was experiencing was "normal." Houghton writes on Facebook:
Desiree is such a lovely person. She spent the last seventeen years of her life with these gross butterfly backs (pictured above) embedded in the back of her ears! A family member took her to have them pierced when she was three years old, against her will. It was so painful that she had to be taken back the next day to get the other side done. 😔 The blunt force trauma and poor design of the jewelry caused massive swelling and embedding. The front of the earrings were pulled out, but the backs were missing... fallen off, or so they thought. Instead they were trapped inside her ears, and have been festering there ever since. Doctors either said that the lumps were cartilage, or said because it was a "cosmetic issue" they would not be able to help her.
Desiree wants to get her ears pierced properly now that she is an adult and can make these choices for herself, so we were delighted to remove the awful foreign bodies for her, along with as much scarring from the gun piercings as possible. In a few months, her ears will be ready for healthy, happy piercings. 💜
She’s very kindly let us use these photos as an example and warning to others: GUN PIERCINGS ARE DANGEROUS. You cannot sterilise guns (meaning there is a very real risk of infection, including serious diseases like Hepatitis [that can and has killed babies].
In addition, the butterflies have nooks and crannies all over them, which trap body fluids and are very difficult to clean -- meaning the infection risk during healing is massive. The studs are made from poor quality mystery metal with an inferior finish, again meaning allergic reaction and infection risk is high. The studs aren’t long enough to allow for swelling (embedding happens easily), and because they’re blunt and are literally forced through the tissue, it is just blunt force trauma -- which is agony for a baby or child.
Anyone prepared to use a gun will be, respectfully, poorly educated on the topic. No reputable piercer would use a piercing gun, meaning they also likely have limited blood borne pathogen training, and again this puts the client (and any baby or child at the end of the piercing gun) at risk.
Guns also cannot be “aimed” accurately, so piercings are often wonky. FOR EVERY REASON please, please, please don’t ever let anyone near you or your loved ones with a piercing gun. 🙏
Find Holier Than Thou on Facebook
One Regret: http://www.DrMomma.org/2011/10/one-regret.html
Piercing Expert, Matt, on Ear Piercing Babies: http://www.DrMomma.org/2019/02/MattonPiercing.html
Peaceful Parenting Community: FB.com/groups/ExplorePeacefulParenting
Her body, her choice. Infant ear piercing is painful, risky, and has no benefits for any baby. Let's allow our children to choose body modifications when they are fully informed and able to consent to alterations made.
She is just as much your baby girl without body modification. Say NO to infant ear piercing.
More from Matt on Piercing Infants
More from Matt on Piercing Infants