Should They Have Pierced North West's Ears?

by Kadeen Griffiths

It hasn't even been a full day since Kim Kardashian was criticized for being too sexy to be a mother just because of the tuxedo shirt she wore without a bra while walking with North West. It seems that the only thing that people can agree upon when it comes to motherhood is that Kim Kardashian is doing it wrong. Her latest crime, getting North West's ears pierced now that North is 1 years old, has sparked the debate over childhood piercings and whether or not they should be considered a form of childhood cruelty.

For the record, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends saving ear piercings for when a child is old enough to take care of it on their own. However, there's no commonly agreed upon age for when a child's ears should be pierced. Some children choose to pierce it themselves when they're teenagers and some children have always had them from the time they were very small. For a lot of cultures, the practice of having infants' ears pierced is so common as to be a complete non-issue.

I've had my ears pierced for as long as I can remember and when I started elementary school in Jamaica there wasn't a single girl in my class who didn't have their ears already pierced. This practice is common in Hispanic and Filipino cultures as well, where infants can get their ears pierced as early as four months. Personally speaking, I'm glad that my parents had my ears pierced when I was too young to remember it, because my fear of needles would have prevented me from getting it done as a teenager.

But for other cultures, having an infant's ears pierced is cruel. Putting your baby through that kind of pain, brief though it is, just so they can wear jewelry that they can't properly appreciate until they get much older doesn't seem to be doing the infant any favors. It's a fair point that a baby has a lot less need for earrings than a teenager does and, as the American Academy of Pediatrics points out, there is an inherent choking hazard in having something that small on or around your child.

However, the fact of the matter still remains that the debate continues to range mostly because it tends to be a cultural thing that varies from family to family, from person to person, depending on how they grew up and what influences they grew up around.




At the end of the day, the decision to get your child's pierced — and to allow your child's ears to be pierced — belongs solely to the parents until the child turns 18. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West aren't unfit parents just because they've gotten North West's ears pierced when she's only 1 year old. The practice is incredibly common and no big deal even among the non-famous. So far, Kardashian and West have proven that they are nothing if not loving parents to North West, so, for this particular instance, we should just let them be.