Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Earring Issues

Yesterday was the big reveal.

Amy and Lena got their ears pierced while in New Zealand. Both of them had wanted it done the last time we went, but they chickened out, then we ran out of time, so they both made me PROMISE that it would be the first thing we did when we got there.

It very nearly was! They were done on the first day, but after a nap and a swim. Of course you have to wear them for six weeks to ensure they heal properly, and that six weeks was not up when the first day of school rolled around, so we had to risk it.

Earrings are quite risque in Japan, banned in schools and considered inappropriate for children. So it was a long-shot that we would get away with it.

Amy's teacher told her to take them out. When Amy said she literally couldn't (she couldn't pull the tightly wedged butterfly off) she got right in her face and told her in no uncertain terms that she could NOT wear them to school

Lena was also told off, and told she may as well let them heal over, as earrings were banned in Junior High School.

So, everyone who told me their kids got theirs done and it was no big deal, that obviously doesn't apply here.

Kanji had a PTA meeting tomorrow, and is wondering if it will come up. He's preparing to tell them we had it done because it's NZ culture - all the girls their age have them done. But that we will follow the rules and not wear them to school. Sigh. Which means a daily fuss with the removal and re-piercing each afternoon at 4pm.

Right now I would really love Japan to get a big dose of that political correctness Westerners moan so much about, and allow my girls to wear their 'culturally appropriate' accessories. And those of you safely ensconced in your home culture, don't fuss when Indian girls wear a nose ring, and Maori kids wear a bone necklace and Muslim girls wear a head-scarf. Just let them be.

Edited to add these photos:

I saw the clear studs last year, and while I forgot to buy them when I got back, we rushed out to get them yesterday after the big telling-off. However, it's still clear and plainly obvious that there is something in their ears, and I think it would just be too defiant of them to just turn up at school the next day with earrings still in, only just a little smaller... we'll sneak them in later on when all the fuss has died down.

For now, we have these: kind of like a toothpick, plastic, you put it through the tiny hole in the bottle of disinfectant then through the earring hole to clean it. I figure if we do this every afternoon and replace the studs for overnight, we can get the holes healed, and maybe sneak the clear studs through in a month or so.


Anonymous said...


I don't know if they sell them in your town or not, but there are these little clear plastic invisible earrings they sell in lots of jewelry stores that could keep the holes from healing over when the girls are in school. They must be meant for people with facial piercings but professional jobs, but I imagine they would work as well in ears just for school hours. Good luck!

Helen said...

I was just going to mention the plastic earrings too!

I had mine done when I was 20 and it hurt a lot. They've grown over now and I just can't bear to get them done again. I've seen lots of girls (and boys) wearing earrings so they probably take them out in school, or cover their ears with their hair!

I think the Japanese get upset at the whole "modifying the body your parents gave you" thing. My husband never liked watching me put earrings in, he must be happy that I don't do it now!

Lulu said...

Shun has never mentioned the fact that I have two holes in each ear?

I think, like you, if I had girls and they came to me and said they wanted their ears pierced then I would let them do it and just try to deal with the repurcussions that came up in school.

I had one student- full Japanese, who was six when she got hers done JUST before she went to shougakou. As far as I know she wore them to school but they were TINY TINY little studs.

Hope the girls don`t have too many issues with them.

Rachel said...

Helen and Anon, edited to add the earrings, I did know about them and bought them yesterday, just forgot to mention that in the blog.

Lulu, my thinking exactly. It's not something we give much thought too, most people I asked said they will leave it/left it until the girl is old enough to ask for it herself.

gaijinwife said...

what a bloody huha. Pity they didn't have the clear earrings in for day one. Do they have very sensitive ears? Mine were terrible when I got mine done at 11 and the daily meths dousing was ultra painful. The things were do!

Rachel said...

I wouldn't know if they were sensitive or not, I think not. Normal. Still, a lot of fuss! The clear ones are pretty noticeable so I think their friends may have noticed them anyway, and it was the FRIENDS telling on them, policing the rule, that the teachers acted on - couldn't be seen to let a rule slide by, though they may have let it slide if they saw it themselves. VERY familiar with that scenario from the teacher's side of the classroom!

Bryn said...

We have something similar to the clear plastic earrings at our store here on base, but they're a lot smaller and not noticeable at all.

Facial piercings, more than the normal two holes for women and any earrings for men are forbidden in the US military, and of course tons of people have all those types of piercings, so lots of people put in the tiny plastic bits to keep the whole open. I'll see if we have any in stock.

Rachel said...

Yay Bryn! Just knowing they exist, I'll start looking online too.

L. said...

If the clear plastic things don't work for you, you can always put tape big gauze bandages on their earlobes over their earrings, and have them say they got infected and have to cover them -- and do this until they're healed enough to remove during the day.

My daughter, alas (14 this month) doesn't want to get her ears pierced. It's her choice, but it's bad because I was secretly looking forward to devious ways of getting around the rules.

Rachel said...

haha, L, you can just help me devise devious ways to get around the rules!

Anonymous said...

As you know, we're just dealing with this now. Strangely my sons didn't have a problem at elem school.My DD seems to have small but fat lobes and the stalks on the earrings are barely long enough.
Where did you get those stick things from, I will try to get those?
I had my nose done before but it wouldn't stay in, I would so love to rock up to the school with a nose stud and my belly ring hanging out and ask them what there goddamn problem is? yk LOL.
It's ridiculous those, even in high school, my eldest is 18!! I think she should be able to perm/dye her hair, pierce her ears, wear a watch, if she wants to.!!

Rachel said...

The pink stalk things were in the piercing section of the accessory store, they were right next to where the piercing guns were, so your daughter should go to where she got the gun, she should find some there, plus antiseptic liquid and the clear studs are there too