Where I’m from, girls ears are pierced more or less at birth.
This act of putting a small hole in both ears in the first weeks of a baby girl’s life was done for me, my cousins, my mum and possibly all the women in my family. In fact, girls of Gem’s age back in Nigeria would have a set of earrings for their mums to choose to wear for them by now.
Now the dilemma arises for me because this doesn’t get done as instantaneously for baby girls here in the United Kingdom as what I’m used to and not only does it not happen, people have very strong views against this being done.
I was listening to LBC radio recently and Katie Hopkins (ex apprentice star always in search of publicity) was going on about how she’s keen to screen the friends her kids make. For instance, she’d hate it if her daughter was hanging around “Charmaine with the pierced ears and pink leggings” – her exact words.
The breastapo are out there judging people for failing to exclusively breastfeed. Once again, I feel like I will be judged and in addition to that, according to Kate Hopkins, I could be destroying my child’s friend-making prospects because of an ear-piercing trip to Claire’s Accessories? A trip – which in the part of Africa where I grew up – is well and truly overdue.
I mean, my mother had to stand up for me and explain categorically to my Aunty who was here on holiday that we needed to wait until Gem had all her jabs before her ears were pierced. My Aunty couldn’t mentally compute why Gem’s ears hadn’t been pierced at birth.
This issue of being stuck in between two opposing cultures raises it’s ugly head very often and is sometimes hard to bear.
As I live here in the UK, I’m not sure how many times I can go through explaining why we have chosen to inflict pain on our child. I can already see the faces of the NCT lot who I find quite judgemental and painful to hang out with anyway. See Mummyland – the playground mentality.
A part of me thinks I’d better live my life doing what I believe is best for my child as her mum regardless of what culturally might be wrong or right.
Quite frankly, the judgement of mine and ❤Throb’s actions for her will not end at whether or not we pierce her ears. It will carry on to what childcare option we use, school choices, what we do or don’t feed her, whether we let her go out till late etc etc.
To end this post, I will say thank goodness that we didn’t end up giving our Gem-of-a-daughter a name like Chardonnay or Charmaine in the end. With pierced ears and a name like that, she might have been consigned to appearing on TOWIE as opposed to studying PPE and Astrophysics (obviously at the same time) in Cambridge like we really want. 😉