U.K. star Katie Price is under fire after she posted a photo of her toddler’s new ear piercings.
If you want to piss off the entire world, apparently all you have to do is get your baby’s ears pierced. That’s what British model and TV personality Katie Price did when she shared an Instagram photo of her 18-month-old’s new ear piercings that some of her fans are calling “child abuse.”
Price shared the photo of her daughter, Bunny, on Monday after discussing the topic of baby ear piercings on the daytime television show, Loose Women. Since the photo was posted, it’s amassed hundreds of comments and sparked a heated debate about whether or not it’s ever okay to pierce a child’s ears before they’re old enough to consent. Some people have defended Price’s choice, but others have labeled the ear piercings “tacky” and “cruel.” Here’s some of what they had to say:
“When people say they ‘don’t see the problem’ it’s because they ARE the problem. A form of child abuse. How could you PAY someone to hurt your child for no reason?”
“You have put holes in your child for vanity and not waited until they are old enough to decide for themselves. This is a selfish decision.”
“Yet more ‘attention seeking’! Why ask people’s opinions on Loose Women then go do it anyway, you knew you would be criticised! Completely disagree with causing pain on a baby that isn’t necessary! [sic]”
“Gets a whole barrel of NOPE from me! Just looks cheap and tacky.”
If anything gets a “whole barrel of nope,” it should be people who don’t have enough of a grip on reality to know that ear piercing isn’t the same thing as child abuse. Yes, it hurts about as much as a vaccination, and no, it’s not a necessary modification. That still doesn’t make it cruel or abusive. At worst, it’s a controversial decision that might be better saved for when a child is older, but even then, there’s nothing wrong with a parent deciding to go ahead and do it while their child is still a toddler.
Critics of the practice point out that ear piercing is not without risks. That’s true: there’s always an opportunity for infection, and according to Parents magazine, there’s also a risk that your child could react negatively to the type of metal used in a piercing. That said, it’s still completely ridiculous to amount ear piercing to abuse. Price’s decision to pierce her 18-month-old’s ears may not be for everyone, but is in no way the same as the physical or emotional abuse that millions of kids suffer from every single day, and it belittles actual abuse to attempt to equate the two.
At the end of the day, ear piercing is a personal choice. It may be “tacky” or “unnecessary,” but the majority of kids will come out of it with no harm done, and they can always remove them later if they don’t want earrings to be a part of their look. There are a lot of issues worth arguing about, but ear piercing isn’t one of them. As long as Price’s daughter is healthy and happy, the internet mommy-shaming brigade can keep their opinions to themselves.