I’ll give you some advanced warning – this post is a bit moany and not very funny. Sorry about that. So you’re 17 (I know, just imagine/try to remember). You want a tattoo so off you trot to wherever does tattoos. You’re turned away, though; even if your parent was in tow, the legal age to get ink on your body is 18.
You go to the off license. You’re turned away there, too – 18 is again the legal limit for buying booze. Cigarettes, 16. All of this seems fair and reasonable, right?
But…if you’re a baby or toddler and you have no choice in the matter, no ability to make a decision or fight your corner, as long as you’re over 6 months then Claire’s Accessories or A.N.Other piercing place can punch holes in your ears. Is that fair and reasonable?
It’s all cosmetic
I’ll be honest, I don’t like seeing toddlers and babies with their ears pierced. That is my opinion (which we can share, if you agree). It is easy to judge the parents and – I admit it – as someone who finds it hard to restrain Bear to have her vaccinations, I do wonder how mums/dads can voluntarily hold their baby or toddler down to have something that isn’t going to protect them from serious illness, and that is purely cosmetic.
And that’s it, isn’t it? It is PURELY cosmetic. We all harp on about how beautiful and gorgeous our babies are – because they are, because they’re babies. But the thought process whereby “but earrings/an earring would really make them perfect” is something I can’t get my head around. Isn’t it rather unfair to force a totally optional *thing* on anyone? Isn’t this especially so on a child who isn’t able to make a decision about anything in the first place, because they’re so young?
But my argument isn’t actually with the parents. We all do things differently – bedtime, bathtime, food, drink, TV blah blah blah. Live and let live, as long as you’re not hurting me (or coming at Bear with an ear piercing gun) it’s none of my business. My issue is with the retailers.
Cashing in on a lack of law?
At Claire’s Accessories, which purports to be ‘the world’s leading ear piercing specialist’ you need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian if you are under 16. That sounds ok doesn’t it? But what about the fact that the child actually only needs to be older than 6 months (with proof of all immunisations) to get them done. Is that really ok?
Scotland has a consent age of at least 16 for ear piercings, but there are no laws regulating piercings for minors in England and Wales. So by allowing a 6 month old to go through the procedure, are the likes of Claire’s Accessorises simply cashing in on a lack of legal limit when they could (should?) have a duty of care to young children who are incapable of making their own decisions yet?
Or am I just being a grumpy cowbag?