profile picture of Christine Cordova
Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor

Mom 'Pierces' Baby's Cheek to Prove a Point

“My baby, my choice.”
PUBLISHED ON 07/05/2017

We’ve said it before (and we’ll say it again...and again..and again): There’s no right or wrong way to parent. But one Ohio mom sparked controversy in the parenting world when she shared a Photoshopped image of her 6-month-old daughter with a dimple piercing.

“I'm the parent, she is my child, I will do whatever I want,” Enedina Vance wrote on Facebook. “I make all of her decisions until she's 18, I made her, I own her.”

The mom of six posted the photo as part of an anti-circumcision campaign, trying to highlight that snipping a baby’s genitals shouldn’t be encouraged if piercing a cheek is denounced. The post, which has been shared almost 13,000 times, received mixed reactions from other parents.

Although Vance included “#sarcasm” in her post, many Facebook users seemed unaware that the photo was fake—or proving a larger point. The mom received death threats and was banned from Facebook for three days.

When her account was reinstated, Vance shared a followup post to clear the air about her original message.

“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,” she wrote on Facebook.

“It’s ironic that they 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,” she continued. “How is it so triggering, so enraging to see my baby with a pierced dimple, but actually knowing a baby is being strapped down and forcibly having his most sensitive and innervative portion of his penis amputated, seems perfectly okay?”

Vance shared some of the messages she received in the comments section of her followup post.

“Education is key and the truth is genital cutting is completely unnecessary,” Vance says. “It’s NOT cleaner, not healthier and definitely does not look better! But most importantly, it is not your body to alter or modify for aesthetic purposes.”

Vance’s position likely won’t sway the American Academy of Pediatrics, who in 2012 stated the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. Specifically, the AAP cites a lowered risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has since backed this position statement.

Want to learn more about both viewpoints? We had two experts weigh in on the pros and cons of circumcision.