These pictures upset me…

I’m sure that Nenita is perfectly able to consent to a piercing and I don’t really have a problem with it, but pictures of little kids in pain always upset me… This was done by Martin at Tattoos by Tito in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

77 thoughts on “These pictures upset me…

  1. God, Shannon you would have been horrified the other day then, i went into claires accessories and saw a lady having her less than one year old baby’s ears pierced with a gun and the poor baby was screaming >_

  2. Ack! Like I said, a kid as young as this one can obviously consent to the piercer, but I don’t think that as a piercer I could handle piercing a baby, it would just fuck with my head too badly…

  3. When I was five I annoyed the hell out of my mom by crying and begging for weeks until she took me to get my ears pierced. I’ve seen grown men take it worse than this kid!

  4. She may be crying, but i’d still rather see this than see it done with a piercing gun.

  5. Guns are worse than that. The never ending oozies so often seen in ear piercings are the direct result of a gun pushing oil glands down into the piercing. That’s both people with gun piercings often have one “problem” ear that gets irritated or infected from time to time.

    Using a beveled need avoids this since there is no surface skin pushed down into the hole. I also don’t see anything in this picture that’s unexpected. I also don’t so much see pain as in agony as pain as in surprise in this picture. But then doing the doctor thing I’ve done far more uncomfortable things to children.

  6. I’m also glad to see someone getting pierced the right way for the first time! At a local children’s hair salon, they’ve started to offer ear piercing…obviously with a gun…is there anywhere I can print out pamphlets or sheets demonstrating the MONSTROSITY that is the piercing gun?

  7. I probably made a worse face than that when I had my ears pierced for the first time…mind you it was with a gun and did really hurt, despite my Mum telling me it wouldn’t :S

  8. so young and already famous in the body modification community.
    She’s surely very happy now with her new earrings.
    it’s nice to see argentina that often here

  9. shes okay… i make faces like that just doing up my shoes.. but then again, im kinda retarded

  10. When I was 18 I got my ear pierced with a gun in the mall. A mother was bringing her daughter in to get pierced and they saw me on display (they sat me on a stool just outside the store to do it) and the mother said “see, look, I bet you he won’t cry”.

    I told her “don’t count on it”.

  11. I probably make a similar face the moment I realize there’s a needle being pushed through my ear or whatever, but as the needle is not pushing for very long, the face doesn’t last very long, either.

  12. kids cry about anything…..I never have a problem if they cry when I pierce their ears…..and yeah, some adults over-react even more…..

  13. I pierce kid’s earlobes at my studio – to be clear, kids old enough to ask for it and sit still for it, not babies or toddlers – and while some do react a little to the actual piercing, they cheer up seconds later when it’s all over with. The parents usually freak out more than the child!

  14. its better than seeing it done with a gun. I had mine done with a gun when i was 9, at a department store.. i think i’ve been fairly lucky i’ve had no problems with them, or even stretching them with all kinds of crap before i found this site, haha..

  15. I got my ears gunned when I was 6, after my mother thought the haircut I chose was too boyish. I really didn’t want to do it, and I cried before, during, and after. It sucked to be forced into it. Even the hair stylist that did it was saying I had to or “i’d look like a boy.” In retrospect…that’s a fucking awful thing to make a 6 year old do.

  16. This seems as good a place as any to post this but reading Shannon’s Hospital stories reminded me of getting lots of blood tests and allergy tests done when I was around 15…

    I have no defense. She was a cute nurse and she was using sharp things on me…and hospital gowns don’t hide tenting very well :(


  17. it could be worst! she could be and infant and it could be a piercing gun! shudder.

  18. i made faces worse than that when i got my ears done with a gun around that age. i bet the needle is a hell of a lot smoother

  19. the youngest ive pierced was 4 years old with a needle yes she cried butshe made a lot less fuss than many of the older drama queens …. she also smiled lots when she saw her pierced ears afterwards, she looked after her piercings and came back to see me at the shop a couple of times afterwards just to say hello….ive said it before….. responsible piercers should pierce children….. and yes it is hard for the piercer to do it takes patience and maybe a little cold heartedness to ignore the crying and just do the job right….the second ear is harder….. i did have an 8 year old boy who smiled as the needle went through his ear….. that was worrying

  20. my parents got my ears pierced at 2 months old, their thought was to get it done before i knew that i had ears to they didnt have to worry about them getting infected or having me mess with them. im not sure i’d do the same for my kids.

  21. goddamn i wish i had been able to get my ears pierced with a gun when i was a wee one. i might have kept them.

  22. This is a great picture ^_^
    Being a parent, of course it sucks to see kids in pain. It’s so much better seeing them in pain getting a proper procedure than sitting in some Claire’s while an inexperienced kid punches holes in the ears.
    Good to know people do it the right way ^_^

  23. You know, I agree with #30.
    Good piercers should pierce kids, obviously I wont do a 13 year old girls nipples, (before you laugh, I actually DID have a clients mom ask if I would), but if they can request it, Ill do kids ears. I would rather do it than have some douchebag do it with a gun and scar the fucking child for life.
    Piercing is a responsibility to not only the piercee but the piercer. We all have to look out for the dumb kids that will be turned away by us and have it done by some hack in a garage, or the misinformed parents that will crush some cheap crap into a babies ear. Parents, just leave your kids alone until they decide they want a piercing, then take care of it in a RESPONSIBLE manner.

  24. Before I found the piercing world at large, I thought all little girls were like me and my family friends.. I got my ears pierced sometime before I was 6 months old. Everyone I know did it, and we still do it now. My sister in law took my nieces to a doctor to have their ears pierced when they were 10 months old. The only negative thing is that guns are mostly used, so to see this kid going to a professional piercer is better then taking her to a mall, salon, or any gun-using establishment.

  25. i have 3 holes in each ear and one cartledge- all gun pierced.


    i was really young when i got them tho, so i didn’t know better and my parents don’t comprehend the difference between gun and needle, like why it matters.

    i will have my kids pierced with a needle
    i just will need to wait till they’re a bit older i guess

    i got pierced when i was 3 months old
    will a piercer actually do that on a 3 month old?

  26. Gun piercings are just BAD period. And now a days you can buy them (I don’t think it’s legal, but seeing as I live in Mississippi I really don’t think anyone cares. They cost about 15.00). I would NEVER allow my child to get gun pierced.

    I remember being very little when my parents were into DIY piercing and my mom piercing her nose with one. I definitly made a face like that just watching. =/

  27. In Gibraltar when babies are born the doctors ask the parents there and then if they want them to pierce the baby’s ears. I don’t know whether it is with a gun or a needle but it’s standard practice there!

  28. I’d be more worried about this if she was actually crying. Just looks like she’s making a face to me. Acting the way she thinks she should be because she thinks it should hurt really bad. Is there an after picture?

  29. i’ve always felt uncomfortable when I see parents with a baby girl and she has her ears pierced. I remember once at work (I work at Toys R Us), this mother came in with her daughter and HER mother, and they had just gotten the girl’s ears pierced. I always wonder if the child will chose to take them out at a later date, since it wasn’t really their choice. I know both my mother and aunt took their ear piercings out because they didn’t like them. My grandma got them pierced when they were kids because she liked the look.

    As for the picture…at least they’re using a needle!

  30. Some hair salons now have disposable piercing guns, their packaged with the stud right in the gun, that way they can only be used once.

    Poor girl, it might hurt but I think she will be happy with them when they are healed.

  31. I had my ears gun pierced when I was 6 and 12, then had them pierced a 3rd time in both lobes with needles at 14. The gun sets healed fine but one needle piercing formed a keloid and I finally removed the ring. I purposely didn’t have them pierced a third time with the gun because I thought it’d be worse than the needle… now I’m done with piercings for good but just like to look at everyone else’s!

  32. Ehh…as I see it, at least she’s old enough to decide if she wanted it done or not, and there isn’t one of those horrible guns involved.

    Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

  33. I think that peircing a child when they can’t aleast ask for the peircing is not O.K. a gun is ever worse and i have several times said something to people in claires for having their childs ears peirced in such an unsanitary way. I know tons of people who have had their ears peirced with a gun, Had an bad problem with them and think they can’t get peirced at all because of it. I AM: hehaditcomin went to beauty school and they teach you how to peirce with a gun at school. She of course was upset by it as well. I read an article on here a few years back and cannot recall where i found it but the girl made a very valid point saying that As a society most people won’t think twice about putting braces on their child or peircing their ears as an infant but then look at indiginous (Spelling error?) tribes and consider them primitive and what they do as wrong.

  34. my little sister had her ears pierced with a gun and they went dodgy, so she let them heal up. when they had healed i took her to a piercer and asked him to re-pierce them with needles. he basically told me not to be a dick and that guns are perfectly safe. so we left. we went to quite a few after that and they all had the same attitude. luckily i found a really good guy to do it and her ears are fine now. i know its only her lobes but i got mine gunned when i was her age and i thought that it was normal so a year later when i was 13 i went and got some cartilage pierced with a gun because i didn’t know any better…never again…the word ‘infection’ would be an understatement.

  35. i had my ears pierced when i was 10 weeks old with a gun in a jewellers. i wish my parents has asked me! but ive never haqd a problem with thwm healing over even when i didnt wear earings for several years.

  36. aw, this reminds me when I was 9 and getting my ears gunned in a hair dressers… I made the same kind of face!! (and I still do when I think about the gun)

    But yes, at least she can say no if she doesn’t want it. I also agree with peircing kids who are too young to understand or even agree with it. They must think “argh what are you doing to me!?”. But surely it’s a choking hazard piercing young kids and babies? What if it came out and the kid swallowed it?

  37. I think parents peirce little girls ears so people know she is a girl. I won’t even go into my opinion on gender roles. My sister peirced my newphews ear when he was a few months old and he just kept ripping it out. Same with my neice and then they got mad when she lost the diamond earrings they put in DUH?! little kids are going to do that. I was friends with a kid who wanted his cartildge peirced and i kept telling him to go to a shop. He ended up getting it done at wal-mart i think. He now has half an ear. The scar tissue/infection ended up being the size of a golfball and he had to have it removed.

  38. I bet she shows this off to everyones she meets from now on, including the pictures.

    As for consent this remains a VERY grey area but the law allows ear piercing at such an age (in the UK) despite its lack of regulation so nothing wrong going on here at all.

    Solaris has a decent piece written on his IAM about this.

  39. my mum took me to get my ears pierced with a gun when i was 5 months old, she also let me get my helix pierced when i was 7, which was also done with a gun.
    i think it cost about £3 then to get it done aswell haha

  40. well i dont like the lil`girel face neither but u know what , i prefer to see her face in here , that seee her gettin pierced when she born (yeah they pierce kids here a month after ) and with a gun ! and im sure she ask to get the lobes pierced and family took her to a bodyshop instead of going to the gun place


  41. Count me among those who are glad the parents took her to a real piercer rather than Claire’s. I got my first lobe holes when I was three years old, in a mall with guns. I am lucky that they have never been any problem at all. Future ones have been done with guns and needles when I was older, currently have three on each side.

    It doesn’t look like PAIN to me, it looks like HEYYY OWWWW but not in a real serious way.

  42. I’m also glad to see a parent giving their daughter the oppurtunity to have their ears pierced a safe way. I had my lobes gunned when I was 4. They didn’t ask me, I was just taken to the mall one day. It hurt. BAD. I pried the studs out three days later because I had an alleric reaction to the metal of the cheap crappy studs, but I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that it hurt. My boyfriend’s sister just had a baby, and I educated her on the dangers of piercing guns. She’s going to wait until her daughter is old enough to ask her to have it done, and find a proper piercer to do it. Maybe someday we’ll see the happy day when guns are banned for good.

  43. Hey!!! good to see a mate from my home town beign featured!!! :)

    that’s martin, tito’s tattooshop piercer, not esteban felix (tito) himself, anyway, good to see that at least some things have improoved since i left. i agree with piercing kids, of course, using professional piercing methods, not piercing gun or something related to it at all…professional techinque, professional jewelry. as far as age concerns, i wold only pierce kids that are fully aware of everything, and most important, they are wanting em…i always make sure they are da ones that truly want em, just asking, making em feel sure while choosing jewelry and making a friendly relation so they can tell ya what they feel and u can make em feel much more comfortable than they xpect it to be, this is way is the best. normally they are around between 5 or 7 years when they come wanting the ear lobes pierced.

    congrats to martin and tito’s place for da feature!!!!

    IAM Wild Skin
    Juan Burgos

  44. I got my ears gunned twice…first at 5, second time at 10. It didn’t hurt in the slightest, I didn’t cry, I never had a “problem ear”, and years later I was able to stretch both sets of holes to a 0ga and 2ga, respectively, with little to no difficulty and no issues with scar tissue.

    My nose piercing (obviously done with a needle, and in a very reputable shop), however, is starting to have issues with a keloid developing.

    Guess I’m an outlier? =P

  45. lucky kid… I had 3- yes, 3, I know it’s terrible- sets of ear piercings done with guns. It’s kind of ironic that that’s how I found BME about a year and a half ago, I’d gotten my 3rd holes done at Claire’s and they were REALLY infected and I was looking online to try and find out how I could make the infection go away, and I was pretty much led straight here (although, I wish I didn’t have to go through all of the pain and now pretty bad scar tissue to do it.)

  46. kids really do cry about anything. and they just as quickly get over it. i find that very amusing. you can count me among one of the pleased that this isn’t a gun people.

  47. Isn’t this illegal? I certainly wouldn’t pierce ANYONE under 16; if they’re under the age of consent for sex, then they’re under the age of consent for anything else, parental permission or none.

    And Nikki #57, noses tend to develop hypertropic scarring (not keloids) since it’s a cartlidge piercing. The bump will go away.

  48. That is so good that this kid is getting their ears pierced with a needle. Unfortionatly many parents don’t realize how bad gun-piercings are (including mine). Almost everyone I know who has had gun-pierced ears, has ended up with either very low, very uneaven, or a combo of both. I got lucky, very even piercings high up.

  49. I hate to see infants with their ears pierced, not only because of how disgusting guns are, but also because I think if a young kid is going to get their ears pierced it should be because they’re at least old enough to tell you that they want it for themselves. I took my sister to get her ears pierced for her 4th birthday because she wanted it done. I took her to Amazing Grace, Ken Karnage did it, he even has a couple pictures of her in his piercing profile on IAM if you want to see them. They were done immediatly after they were pierced, and the smile on her face is ear to freshly pierced ear! Granted she took a half hour break between ears, but Ken was really good with her, and she was a champ herself!

  50. #9, piercings done by a gun don’t nescessarily have scartissue when streched. I’ve streched my gun-pierced (in my defence, I was young and I didn’t know better) lobes to 6mm and had no problems what so ever. But needles are better than guns.
    #19 lol.

    I really think, just as many people do, that parents should only get their children’s ears pierced, if the kids themselves ask for it.
    I just don’t see the point of a toddler having earrings, since he most likely wouldn’t be aware of them. Feels more like the parents would want to get accessories for their little doll :(

  51. I have a confession to make.

    When I was 17 I was a “piercing specialist” (fucking joke) at my local Claire’s. Oh how I regret that. Even before I’d discovered how horrible guns are I refused to pierce any child who didn’t understand what was going to happen to them, and knew that it was going to hurt. I also refused to pierce on the shop floor – I saw colleagues attempting to pierce while surrounded by bustling Saturday shoppers – what a great idea!! I wholeheartedly regret ever taking that job, and left pretty quickly when my manager started taking umbridge at my morals – low as they were.

    Apologies to the entire community for my naivity!

  52. My mum took me to get my ears pierced with a gun when i was three.
    I’m 15 now and I’ve never had any problems with them. They’re now stretched to 0g and i have 18 other piercings… my mum must have known i’d be into body mods when i grew up!

  53. nothing is more horrifying than realizing how far we have gotten from our human rites of passage. Thank god some piercers, (myself included) are willing to decolonize our minds and reclaim our culture.

  54. I was 4 wen i got my ears pierced… i had one done…then wudnt let the dude anywhere near me to do the other…
    my mum dragged me back after a week or so…id bin walking round with one ear pierced lk the tru tom boy i was lol :P..

    im sure my face was worse than this tho !!

  55. at least the kid was old enough to say yes or no to getting pierced and her parents had the common sense to take her to a hopefully good shop to get it profesionaly done instead of trying to save a buck and go to claires. i work in the mall and it just sickens me when i see people getting their ears mangled at that place. when people come in my store and ask where it is so they can get it done. i give them a list of reasons not to and a business card to my studio of choice.

  56. Devil’s advocate from a non-Western culture: Just wanna point out that in some cultures – Latin American, Indian (as in from INDIA) – it’s perfectly normal to pierce female babies’ ears and a gun might be faster and cause less emotional trauma than trying to get the kid to sit still for a needle. And really, they’re babies. They’ll forget about it quickly.

  57. I WORKED at Claires and was forced to pierce poor little babies ears. One lady brought in a two week old baby and demanded I pierce his ears. When I refused she wanted to speak to my manager..I told her she could come back and see my manager the next day. Instead she went down to the “piercing pagoda” where they also refused. What an IDIOT.
    I will never be a fan of piercing guns again. I screwed up too many ears and I’m not an idiot…guns are the devil.

  58. in my country (hungary), every girl gets her first earrings when she’s a baby..we even don’t remember.(btw when i got my ear pierced [yes, with a gun.], i was sleeping).

  59. Here in Belgium, most girls get there first set of earrings at the age of 7. I want to bet for $1.000 that 99% of those get there ears pierced with a gun.

    Now tell me, which is worse?

    - Piercing a kid’s (not baby!!) ears with a needle and let it have 2-3 minutes of fear of the big tattooed guy and no further problems


    - gunning a kid’s ears in a jewellery shop and let it have some infections or other sh*t, which will last for days or even weeks

    Choice is easy to make for me…

  60. i had my babys ears pierced at 6 months and shes a year now and perfectly healed ears..,…..this is a awesome pic

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