Shame On You : Pierced & Inked Mom Shaming
We recently came across an article by Sharon Lynn Pruitt on Oxyen.com that shines light on something she refers to as “one of the most cherished past times of our country”, known as “mom shaming”. In her article, An Open Letter To People Who Shame Moms With Tattoos And Piercings, the topic of mom shaming and how it managed to trickle into her life during her new “mom-dom”.
This past mother’s day, BodyJewelry.com did a feature blog “MILF: Moms I’d Like to Follow” to honor, admire and dote over all of the beautiful mothers out there that are doing their thing, with no regrets. After reading Sharon’s article, we realized it was necessary to do another post in regard to this horrendous act called “mom shaming”.
What Does Mom Shaming Feel Like?
Well, sometime it can be ugly and outright (there’s no missing it during convo because it feels like someone verbally drop kicked you in the face) and then there is mom shaming that is so subtle that you almost don’t know it happened….until later, when it’s had a chance to settle in and rot from inside out and you begin to doubt yourself and wonder if you are “too wild” for a mom.
Sharon Lynn Pruitt described the more subtle form of mom shaming in her article. It’s not an outright insult (or at least it may not feel that way in the beginning) but it does involve some type of comparison to how one could behave or look more like a “proper mom”. The less subtle type involves comments on social media that sound something like this : “You should be ashamed of yourself as a mother.” Why? All because these awesome mother’s chose to keep their identity intact after the birth of their child?
Who Is Affected?
We, in the piercing and body modification industry, have most likely experienced some form of discrimination, mother or not. Mothers with piercings and other body modifications become likely targets for shaming as the conflict of what a mother should look like and what a mother actually look like conflicts in ideal. The truth of the matter is that we are all very different and unique and that so long as the child is not suffering abuse or neglect, what a mother looks like or her preferences with piercings and body modification should not affect their ability to be a great parent.
Mothers that choose to sport their pre-baby piercing style or decide to have body piercings after having children are more likely to be questioned by societal norms whether they are doing a good job of parenting or not. Sadly, pierced and inked people all over the world are subject to this type of scrutiny not only in the department of parenting but also in the work force. So now, take a mother, a woman, that is pierced and inked and place her in the work force. That’s a triple threat of targeted shaming and discrimination.
Why Is This Happening (Still)?
For starters, it’s not technically illegal to discriminate against those with body modifications….yet. It is still considered a personal choice by many corporations and it is very true that having visible body piercings and tattoos can lower your chance of landing a job. Although body modifications have become significantly more publicized and accepted in most places in moderation, we are still not protected by the laws that govern us from discrimination.
And judging from our last article “Body Equality : The Great Nipple Debate” women are not even “allowed” to show a nipple or two on social media without getting shut down. Breastfeeding in public, pierced nipple or not, is still “taboo” and a topic of scrutiny, so it’s no wonder that pierced mothers everywhere are battling their right to be who they want to be.
What Can We Do?
Thankfully, many large companies and movements are being birthed everyday to bring awareness and education to this issue. Ads and videos along with bringing these issue to the forefront of media, like Sharon’s article, is helping to raise awareness on this under supported topic. We can all be a part of this movement by choosing to become tolerant and release judgements based on looks.
Education is key on this topic of mom shaming and other forms of discrimination. Speak up when you witness it. Educate friends and family (or heck, even strangers) that your piercings and tattoos have nothing to do with your ability to parent or perform at work. Use existing tools such as the children’s book “Mommy Has a Tattoo” to help your children learn at an early age the principles of acceptance.