One Ohio mom quickly found out that posting a photo of her baby with a fake cheek piercing drew loads of criticism, hate, and even death threats.
It started with a photo that Enedina Vance posted to Facebook, showing the little one’s face with a piercing in her cheek, which read: “So I got the baby girl’s dimple pierced!! It looks so cute, right?!! I just know she’s gonna love it!! She’ll thank me when she’s older lol If she decides she doesn’t like it, she can just take it out, no big deal.”
She continued: “I’m the parent, she is MY CHILD, I will do whatever I want!! I make all of her decisions until she’s 18, I made her, I own her!! I don’t need anyone’s permission, I think it’s better, cuter, & I prefer her to have her dimple pierced. Its NOT abuse!! If it was, it would be illegal, but it’s not. People pierce their babies everyday, this is no different.”
“MY BABY, MY CHOICE!! PARENT’S CHOICE, PARENT’S RIGHTS!! Don’t judge my parenting, we all raise our kids differently, it’s none of your business anyway!!,” she added.
The pic, it turned out, was photoshopped, in an attempt for the mom to make a point about the circumcision of baby boys. Her hashtags even pointed to that point and noted sarcasm: “#BodilyIntegrity, #MyBodyMyChoice, #HumanRights, #ChildrensRights, #Intactivism, #IntactGeneration #sarcasm.”
Her point, however, was clouded by what people thought was a real piercing and her jokey statement of ownership didn’t play out the way she might have intended.
The threats and criticism blew up her post, despite Vance telling people that the photo had been doctored: “Wow, so as (hopefully) everyone knows, my last post was FAKE. I photoshopped that picture of the baby to look like I had her dimple pierced. It is in fact PHOTOSHOPPED. And according to many, many, M A N Y posts & comments, it was a very bad & obvious photoshopped attempt on my part lol And yet, hundreds of people ACTUALLY believed it as real!!”
She further noted: “Its ironic that people were ready to beat me to death over my excuses for piercing my baby, but then they used the same EXACT excuse to justify cutting their baby.”
Despite all the negative reactions, she still felt the post was worthwhile, later explaining: “I’m so excited that the world is finally talking about children’s right to physical integrity. I wanted people to get outraged, to react, to be completely shocked that someone would pierce their child’s face. Then, after they realize what the post is actually about, piercing the face doesn’t seem so bad when compared to genital cutting.”
She added: “They have to justify their outrage over a piercing vs their acceptance of genital mutilation. No one has the right to alter or modify another person’s body, whether piercings or genital cutting, for aesthetic purposes, not even parents. Thank you everyone for the shares, for the comments, & most importantly, for being a part of this extremely important global conversation.”