A video of a baby getting her ears pierced has kicked off a heated debate online about the rights and wrongs of piercing children’s ears.
In the short clip, a baby is held by her mom as workers prepare for the procedure to take place.
Though the baby seems at ease at first, she begins to cry when her lobes are punctured by the piercing gun, while the staff and her mother do their best to comfort her.
Since it was posted earlier this month to the Piercings Facebook page, the video has been causing quite a stir.
Not only has it been viewed more than 3.8 million times, but over 12,000 people have commented on the controversial clip.
Many seemed to be of the opinion that it was wrong to put such a young tot through the procedure, while some went as far as to label it “child abuse.”
“Barbaric!!! Why would anyone do this to a baby,” one woman wrote.
“If they aren’t old enough to consent and ask to get them pierced then they shouldn’t be getting pierced,” added another.
“OMG!!! This makes me soooo angry!!” another Facebook user commented. "Why would anyone do this to their baby???? Let THEM decide when and IF they want to do this to their bodies! This should be outlawed. I mean you wouldn’t take a baby for a tattoo would you?!?!”
But though the majority of the comments seemed to be against the practice, there were some who supported the decision to have the baby’s ears pierced.
“People need to chill the F*** out! There is REAL child abuse going on all over the world,” one user commented.
“It’s not wrong or child abuse,” another added. “It is less painful to do when they are younger then older… It is like getting a shot… Everyone is so quick to judge learn the facts.”
“She cried for 5 seconds, and then was fine,” another woman wrote. “If they wait until she is 6 years old and wants them, she will have to endure days and weeks of dread and fear, anticipating the pain, as well as the pain. This way is much easier for her. 5 seconds and done! She is fine, and people make a huge deal over nothing now days. Mind your own babies and business.”
Another parent pointed out that ear piercings are actually part of some cultures.
“In my country people ask when are you going to have your baby’s ear pierced? And suggest, sooner the better!! Will be less painful when she is still a baby, etc. And we even have a special day in a year to have ear or nose pierced. My ear and nose was pierced when I was a baby and I had my baby girl pierced when she 25 days old," one user explained.
Gisele Bündchen also caused a stir when she posted an Instagram snapshot of her then 8-month-old daughter’s pierced ears.
While some labeled the Brazillian-born model “cruel,” for most Latina mothers piercing a baby’s ears is simply a cultural tradition.
Whether parents should be allowed to pierce their child’s ears is always widely debated. But one woman believes the practice should be made illegal, calling the act tantamount to “child cruelty.”
Reporting by Marie Claire Dorking