A couple of the mothers in my 'quadrangle' at work have young boys. One is 8, the other is 11, both have pierced ears. One, at 11 years of age, is allowed to wear a rap bling to his first year in high school in the form of a large fake diamond! (he is known by his mates as 'Pimp') the other was asked to remove his earring when he arrived at a new, slightly more respectable Government school recently and subsequently had a teary tantrum about the whole thing. I was shocked that an 8 year old would expect to wear an earring to school! Let alone that their mother's would talk about the injustice of it all!
When ClareBear was about 8, she asked to have her ears pierced. This seemed too young to my mind but many of the Italian children at her school (only the girls) had their ears pierced as infants which is their cultural tradition. Often done on babies prior to their Christening. I made her a deal, that if she still wanted her ears pierced she could do it at 12 years of age and she did. She completed her piercings with a belly button piercing when she was 18 and I think now that's it. My nephew had a librette at 18 but it wore a sore in his gum and began to damage his teeth so he switched to an eybrow bolt and now has a hole in his chin. My Niece has a tiny diamond in her nose, a bolt in her tongue that is forever being 'twiddled' and pierced ears . . .another stopped at the tongue bolt and earrings. Now that seems fair. They're grown ups, they're lightly pierced. At my kids' school, anything other than pierced ears and tiny studs was forbidden. Those who did go further had to hide their piercings under a band aid.
Today, the state government has banned the piercing of genitalia, nipples other non conventional body parts (bolts on the back of the neck and the bridge of the nose are quite popular). . on children under the age of 16 and any other piercings (apart from ears) require parental permission, that's bolts, librettes, noses, necks and belly buttons. How they're going to police it, I'm not sure "Can you show me your clitoris please?" You wouldn't believe where people pierce themselves or maybe I'm justs old fashioned. I wouldn't have thought that too many under 16 year olds would have gone the Prince Albert but there you go! I should warn them about an acquaintance who's sleeper came undone during the 'deed' and caused quite a bit of damage!
I once had the most unfortunate experience of watching a small child who clearly had asked to have his ears pierced, change his mind at the last minute. I'm guessing he was about 6 years old.
I was walking through a Pharmacy in Penrith Mall (out in the not so flash Western Suburbs where I was working at the time). A scruffy looking, overly thin woman with lank greasy hair was standing behind a small boy, with short cropped hair and a rat's tail, perched on an overly tall stool. A hygienic looking Chemist's assistant had a loaded piercing gun with a nice stud ready to go when it became quite obvious that the young man was having second thoughts. Whilst his mother held his arms out 'crucifix' style, the boy began to have a major tantrum. Kicking his legs, flailing his head. Another equally scruffy woman arrived, with two more little snot boxes eating rainbow ice creams and assisted in the restraint. By this time a small crowd was gathering. I whispered to the assistant not to do it - she was hesitant and looked like she might walk away and leave it for another day. Clearly the child had changed his mind and to restrain him was inhuman. I was in my lunch break so marched past the scene with a disparaging mumble "Bloody westies, shouldn't be allowed to breed . . " kind of comment.
Anyway, shopping done and heading back to work . . I passed the same bunch. Boy all happy with a dirty face and tide mark where his tears had cleaned their path down his cheeks and sure enough . . .a nice shiny stud in his tiny ear.
I spent nine months, not smoking, not drinking, eating well, exercising, preparing, preening so that when my little bundles of joy came into the world they were perfect. No holes, no marks . . .even circumcision was never an option . . .how could I do anything to change these perfect pink little leaking-at-both-ends cabbage patch looking lovelies?
Poor little tot . . I felt like confiscating him at the time but then . . he's probably happy now and looking a little like this: