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The New Old Aggressions

Nowadays, in the midst of body piercings, a term said to be new has been standing out and gaining its own meaning to define a specific practice of the profession. Perforation in babies and newborns using methods not appropriate for such purposes, but famous among users of this catchphrase: Humanized perforation.

First, it is good practice to make some clarifications about the term itself: “humanized care” – the humanization of the practice of care has always existed not only among professionals in the area of ​​piercing, but by all who work in the health area (among others). Humanizing the service is nothing more than the standard procedure, necessary and indispensable for every professional (in addition to being obvious, but not always performed by everyone) where we make the client a priority, their demands assisted and prioritized, a personalized, honest and careful service. Thus, we were able to observe that it should not be considered a new practice, but a common and necessary practice.

When we think about the humanization of a client, we think about: consent/authorization, trust and responsibilities, an exchange between piercer and client, who will be receiving work that, in addition to being aesthetic, will be directly linked to their health, which leads us to a greater attention throughout the piercing process. From the product used to clean the room to the choice of jewelry, from the preparation of the material to the processing of the instruments, from the pre-care to the aftercare that will be done at home by the customer.

Consent is made as a basis, being the beginning of a humanized piercing. From there on, we established other points that need to be taken into account for the execution of our work and healing of the pircing: presentation of sterile and disposable materials, biocompatible jewelry for the body, piercing-cutting instrument suitable for the practice of body piercing, proper and regulated environment for carrying out the work, biosafety equipment, along with the unique work of each professional in the post-piercing assistance for their client. After all, strengthening the ties of service also makes it humanized.

Without consent there is no humanization.

The glamor of humanized practice, in addition to being mentioned as a new technique, is camouflaged by various symbologies presented to the public as a way of encouraging and relating to something correct and necessary, with colors supposedly said to be 'feminine', delicate, fragile, and certificates of courage and bravery, which refer to a post-practice overcoming moment, among others (the most characteristic stereotype being used as an example). Unfortunately, none of these characteristics make this perforation less cruel against the integrity of the child, who then becomes marked for easy identification as a girl, thus, having just suffered her first gender violence.

It seems very fanciful, but in popular terms, the child who did not consent because she is a newborn with no autonomy over her body, has her ears pierced only by the consent of his family, and the moment is presented as “more human”, by the contact with the mother, for the anesthetic products used to inhibit pain, for the applicators that promise not to cause trauma and for the earrings said to be suitable for such an act.

A perforation in the lobe region is seen well in a child, but in contrast, a perforation in other parts of the ear that have cartilage is frowned upon, but both are considered 'piercings' by professionals in the area.

The cultural practice of piercing in children needs to be more detailed regarding the invasive process that does not stop happening, regardless of whether it is presented as humanized or not. Body perforation happens as a sequence of events in the body that work to heal the foreign body that is introduced in any human being. For this healing to happen correctly, this object/piercing/earring must necessarily be made from a material that is biocompatible with our body, thus facilitating and reducing symptoms such as: pain, redness, secretions, swelling, allergic reactions and even expulsion of the object by inflammatory processes. The immune system of a newborn is not yet ready and developed to withstand and receive a piercing, in addition, the earrings used most often do not have the necessary characteristics for the factors mentioned above to happen in a healthy way. The perforation site, being a lobe, does not make the procedure less invasive than other perforations, and needs to receive the same attention.

But the healing process and its phases are subjects for a future text. In this one, in particular, we need to understand the reason for this great need for “newborn girls” to have their ears pierced. But why do i only speak about girls? Because it's not a "boy thing". When he grows up, he can ask to wear a hoop with a cross or a spike (which is socially seen as something masculine), but that's something he will decide, depending on what he wants and what he likes. How many 'boys' have you seen having their ears pierced at birth?

You felt the stigma, right?! I felt.

The opinion of the columnist is not necessarily an opinion of the Coletivo Sala Solidária.


Sarah Petruz

Florianópolis/ SC - Body Piercer

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