Indians, Hispanics and Nigerians defend Kylie Jenner over baby's pierced ears

By Rozina Sini
BBC UGC and Social News

Published
image copyrightReuters

When new mother Kylie Jenner shared a video cuddling her five-month-old daughter Stormi many of her millions of social media followers noticed her baby's ears were pierced.

The video posted on her Instagram channel last week has created a debate about consent and the acceptable age at which children can have their ears pierced.

Many people defended the reality TV star saying early ear piercing is common in many different cultures.

But some people voiced their concern that, at five months old, Stormi was too young, while others went as far as to call it "child abuse".

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

The voices of opposition were challenged by those who shared their own experiences of being pierced when they were babies including how piercing children's ears was common in some Spanish-speaking, African and Indian communities.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

On Instagram there were similar messages of support in response to Jenner's original video: "Mexicans pierce their babies ears by one-and-a-half months," read one.

"We pierce babies' ears in Iraq before they are six months old all the time. Stop criticising everything people do," read another comment.

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In the past few days Stormi's piercings have become a global conversation.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

However, many have raised the point Stormi, as with other young children with pierced ears, had no say in the matter.

"If this starts a conversation on the importance of holding off permanent body modification of your children until they are old enough to understand, then so be it," read one tweet.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

A law came into effect in January this year in Wales which bans intimate piercing for anyone aged under 18. One piercer, Zoe Stevens from Colwyn Bay, told BBC Radio Wales she has never pierced a baby's ears, saying "a baby cannot say to their parents I'd really like my ears pierced. At that age it's the parents' vanity."

Currently in England and Wales there are no legal minimum age restrictions for ear piercing, although many salons will set their own age limits. In Scotland, parental consent is needed until the person is 16.

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