When a US mum posted a photo of her baby with a “pierced” cheek, she had no clue it would illicit death threats and global news coverage.
So I got the baby girl's dimple pierced!! 😲😲😍😍💗💗It looks so cute, right?!! I just know she's gonna love it!! She'll…
Ohio mum-of-six, Enedina Vance, (quite inexpertly!) Photoshopped an image of her baby daughter to include a facial piercing on her cheek. She then uploaded the doctored photo to Facebook with a satirical caption – including the hashtag #sarcasm – explaining that this was her baby and piercing her cheek was a mother’s right… and everyone should just shut up about it.
“Don’t judge my parenting, we all raise our kids differently, it’s none of your business anyway!!” she sarcastically urged.
Body autonomy advocate Enedina was trying to prove a point with her fake piercing pic. She’s passionately opposed to circumcision and other body modifications in babies, such as piercing – and she’s against the stock-standard retorts that “parents know best”.
Her post was designed to capture attention and encourage readers to rethink their attitudes to subjecting babies and children to such procedures. Suffice to say things didn’t go as planned, once she hit publish.
While her update certainly did capture the attention of speedily scrolling social media users, many of them did not take the time to ponder Enedina’s caption. Countless Facebook users missed its sarcastic tone altogether.
What ensued were abusive messages and threats to call child protection. People even reported her post and Facebook responded by banning Enedina from the platform for three days!
It’s a shame some people can’t be bothered actually reading what’s in front of them and using critical thinking, because the deeper message in Enedina’s post is an important one.
Her original update read:
So I got the baby girl’s dimple pierced!! It looks so cute, right?!! I just know she’s gonna love it!! She’ll thank me when she’s older lol If she decides she doesn’t like it, she can just take it out, no big deal. I’m the parent, she is MY CHILD, I will do whatever I want!! I make all of her decisions until she’s 18, I made her, I own her!! I don’t need anyone’s permission, I think it’s better, cuter, & I prefer her to have her dimple pierced. Its NOT abuse!! If it was, it would be illegal, but it’s not. People pierce their babies everyday, this is no different.
MY BABY, MY CHOICE!! PARENT’S CHOICE, PARENT’S RIGHTS!! Don’t judge my parenting, we all raise our kids differently, it’s none of your business anyway!!
Of course, the point Enedina was trying to make is that we don’t actually “own” our babies’ bodies, but rather are caretakers, for now. She was hoping to confirm that we should approach any decisions concerning kids’ bodies with caution and careful consideration.
“No one has the right to alter or modify another person’s body, whether piercings or genital cutting, for aesthetic purposes, not even parents,” Enedina wrote – 100 percent deadpan this time.
Some people nodded in agreement, others howled in protest, others still were too distracted to fully comprehend her update – and that the image was doctored. They sent her nasty DMs.
“So it appears that yesterday the focus was on how insane it would be if a parent were to modify and alter their child by forcing them to undergo a facial piercing. People were outraged and rightfully so,” Enedina explained in a follow-up post, also sharing screenshots of the abuse she was receiving.
She was heartened to note that some people asked for more information about the problems with circumcision and for others, they questioned decisions relating to their children’s bodies for the very first time.
“As the post was shared, people began to realize it was about children’s right to physical integrity. Altering a child’s body simply for aesthetic reasons is wrong,” she wrote.
Be it a piercing or circumcision, in this mum’s book assuming consent and altering a child’s body is never okay. While she could do without the abuse and threats, she’s pleased to be sparking debate and further examination of an important issue.
What are your thoughts on this? Are ear-piercing and circumcision comparable procedures? Did Enedina’s update hit the nail on the head – or go a bit awry?