alyssab

Daughter wants her belly button pierced

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Our eldest daughter started her freshman year of college last week. Her first act of pseudo-independence was to get her belly button pierced the night that we moved her into her dorm. She turned 18 last month, and DH and I respect her right to make her own choices regarding her body.

However, our 15-year-old daughter is now emboldened by her sister. She also wants a belly-button ring but is not keen on waiting until college. I'm not sure how, but navel piercing has become somewhat standard for girls in high school. (DD currently has only her earlobes pierced.) We don't live in Utah. We've taught them our values, but our kids haven't grown up in that culture. The reality of the situation is that nearly all of DD's friends are non-LDS. And most of these girls have pierced belly buttons. I know well these girls my daughter associates with; they honor their parents, go to church, respect the community, do well in school, play sports and volunteer. They just happen to have a little jewel in their tummies. They don't at all adhere to the negative stereotypes of "teens with piercings." I know that having a belly-button ring would not affect DD's impeccable character. The overprotective mom in me answered her initial request: "Wait until you're 18." But after having given it some thought, I would be willing to sign the necessary forms to allow her to get her belly button pierced.

DH disagrees. He believes girls with belly rings are over-sexualized and fears subjecting DD to that. (Side note: We don't restrict our girls from showing their midriffs. It's the 21st century. They wear bikinis and crop tops. As such, DD15's belly ring would regularly be "shown off.") DH thinks all piercings are trashy, for lack of a better word.

According to DD, getting your belly button pierced is a rite of passage. She likens it to having pierced ears nowadays. I'm relieved that she doesn't want her nose or tongue (or nipples! 😱) pierced like some of her peers. We've had a talk with her about the extensive healing process and the responsibility required to stave off infection. She is mature enough to know that the piercing could attract the wrong kind of attention and change the way people perceive her -- as unfair as that might be. And she accepts the long-term consequences of having a possibly never-healing hole on her belly.

I'm interested in y'all's thoughts. Have any of you given permission for a belly-button ring?

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California-raised Church member here.  (Now living in the Mormon Corridor, but lots of family still back in CA including some teenaged girl nieces and cousins.)

I think a belly button ring is more stupid than sexualized, honestly—reminds me of all those Sneetches who wanted stars upon thars, right up until they didn’t.  In your position, I’d tell my daughter to wait.  If she can wait for three years, still wants it at 18 and goes ahead with it, she’ll appreciate it all the more.  If she changes her mind in the interim, maybe that’ll be a useful lesson to her about not letting ephemeral social pressures catch her up into making decisions with permanent consequences.  

A great deal of “character” includes the ability and willingness to live differently than one’s peers; and if you want your kids to still be Mormons in five or ten years, then that’s a skill they’re going to need to be able to hone.  Frankly—and I don’t mean to sound judgy here, because I’m not the one in your shoes—but giving in on the bikini and crop-top thing may have already set a couple of counterproductive precedents in this regard.  Sometimes we try so hard to make our kids independent of institutional (i.e. Church) groupthink, that we actually make them more vulnerable to social groupthink.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I guess it depends on the extent you wish to instill standards of modesty.

For the Strength of Youth - Dress and Appearance

Quote

Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him.

Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others. Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act.

But hey, since "it's the 21st century", you might as well allow your 15 yr old daughter to have not only a belly button ring, but also a nipple ring.  And a chain from the nipple ring, to a tattoo of the sexy cat thing on her stomach.  Nothing says "I wish to be respected for the quality of my soul and character" like that stuff.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 Frankly—and I don’t mean to sound judgy here, because I’m not the one in your shoes—but giving in on the bikini and crop-top thing may have already set a couple of counterproductive precedents in this regard.  Sometimes we try so hard to make our kids independent of institutional (i.e. Church) groupthink, that we actually make them more vulnerable to social groupthink.  

Thank you. That was exactly my thoughts when I was reading this.  You can't teach a value and not teach another.

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20 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I got my ear pierced when I was 16.

And now you're buying several thousand copies of Kiss records.  Seems to speak for itself, doesn't it?

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Everything we're asked to do (or not) is for a reason. If I remember right, in Chinese medicine, piercings disrupt the bodies meridians (circuits) which can lead to negative health effects so you may want to look into that and help daughter see that the possible consequences aren't worth it.

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One thing that I as an elderly woman of 66 and member for 52 years feels when I see young women/girls with piercings on other parts of their bodies other than their ears - what were they - their parents thinking???

When will the body piercings stop at? Just the belly button, or will they go to nose, lip, multiple piercings on the ears, cheeks, eyebrows, nipples???? Yes, there are several young people at my grocery stores who had ALL of those piercings, men and women. Teens mostly. It is disgusting to me, as are all of the tattoos. My Uncle had a couple of tattoos from when he served in the Marines and while he was overseas. This HUGE sailing ship on his chest (this man was 6'5" and had the weight to go with it), and one of a hula girl on his left upper arm, and then the name of his first wife on his second arm. As a small child I was facinated by them. During the summer months he would shave his extremely hairy chest just so he could humor his own small children and his nieces and nephews.

By the third wife, he went to have wife #1's name removed. It was a botch up job and he nearly lost his life. No, there was no way to put last wife's name of 4 letters over the 1st's 6 letter name.

My Non-member parents told ALL of us children (6 of us - 2 sons, 4 daughters): No tattoo's -just look what happened to Uncle!. If you want tattoo's then you wait until you are married and have at least two kids of your own. To us Daughters: Only one piercing per ear ~ and ~ drum roll please:  Not until you are married and have at least two children.

I was the only child they had who they knew would NEVER have either piercings or tattoo's. I was the one who was stark raving TERRIFIED of needles the were not attached to the sewing machine. Oh, or had embroidery thread laced through it's eye. At the ripe old age of 54 I was diagnosed with diabetes. At 56 I was shooting up insulin. At 58 I was doing it without shaking, sweating and crying.

Little sister got 2 piercings per ear when she was pregnant with 1st child. She made the grave mistake of wearing large hoop earnings, and nursing baby pulled both out of her ears. Think she would learn when it happened to one side and she wouldn't wear the hoops in the other ear.

Since all 4 holes are now gaping, she didn't go get even more piercings.

That nursing baby had identical boys as first children, she is also bic & married/sealed in the Temple. BUT to identify one son from the other, they had their left ears pierced and place tiny studs with E and C - first letter of their names.

After the boys were baptized, they were told they could have their other ear pierced, or they could remove the ear stud. They chose to remove the stud. Son C had fallen down as a toddler and cut his forehead - thus he alone has a scar on his forehead. Son E has never cut his hair since his baptism, and when it reached 12" pas his neckline, he went and had those 12" cut off and donated it to charity. He is now 16 and it is time to cut 12" off again.

So, this long rant summed up: Treat her the same as older sister. Wait until you are 18. For now, treat her to one ear piercing per ear and some LDS themed earrings. Remove the crop tops, and bikini. Go with a tankini with out the back crack eating crotch.

Oh, just wanted to even more to this long post: My neighbor on one side of me are two late 20 something's. They have so many body tatoo's/sleeves, and piercings - both genders have multiple ear's. tongue, lips, cheeks, eyebrows, several around the belly button, and when they wear tank tops in the winter you can tell they both have both nipples pierced. Now her grandma has been getting tattoo's, and has always had multiple piercings. Well the one in her nose didn't go very well, for the past year she has had various sizes of bandages on her proboscis. Saw her this morning with no bandage and no nose on the left side! I am waiting for the youngsters to end up with bandages and loss of chunks of flesh where once a piercing and/or tattoo was. Need to note that all three are meth addicts. That might make a difference.

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Oh come on! It is a belly button piercing not an amputation! Relax! My mother used to forbid my older sister from wearing jeans to school. My older sister would change into her jeans under a tree. My mother was also convinced that only prostitutes wore anklets. Now nice ladies wear anklets to church.

The world will not fall if a girl gets her belly button pierced. Lighten up! 

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31 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

The world will not fall if a girl gets her belly button pierced. Lighten up! 

It will, however, fall eventually; and so it’s best not to get too enamored of the idea of doing something merely because it’s popular.  

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I would tell my 15-year-old daughter that she did not have permission to pierce her navel. She can do so when she's 18 and not living under my roof. This is a dead obvious thing to me. Of course she doesn't pierce her navel, or tongue, or nipple, or more sensitive parts!

"This is the 21st century" strikes me as one of the weakest arguments I have heard recently. Using that logic, why not invite her boyfriend to sleep in her bedroom with her? Hey, it's the 21st century! Does being in the 21st century mean that we no longer listen to prophetic counsel, or that we drop our standards of modesty and respect for our bodies?

As others have pointed out, a tattoo or piercing or whatever isn't the end of the world. Neither is cutting off your arm. For that matter, neither is having your daughter get pregnant by her boyfriend, or having your husband beat you up, or watching your mother die of smoking-induced lung cancer. That these things are not the end of the world doesn't mean they're desirable, or that we should not take steps to prevent them.

Edited by Vort

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42 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

The world will not fall if a girl gets her belly button pierced. Lighten up! 

Who cares if the world will fall - The Holy Spirit will not enter an unclean *temple*, and our bodies are temples.

From: https://www.lds.org/church/news/sister-oscarson-help-young-women-learn-to-be-led-by-the-spirit?lang=eng 

Quote

 

Our youth also need to understand what a delicate and sensitive relationship we have with the Holy Ghost. There are situations and choices which invite the Spirit, and others which offend Him and cause Him to withdraw.

Prayer, scripture study, attending church, serving others, and attending the temple all invite the Spirit to be with us. Then as we give youth opportunities both in classrooms and at home to bear their testimonies, they will again feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.

250%20LedBySpirit.jpg

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson. Church News.

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve has taught, “A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 54).

Listening to uplifting music and engaging in wholesome activities also invite the Spirit. Watching, viewing, or reading inappropriate materials drives the Spirit away. Giving in to temptation or willingly choosing to lower our standards in any way will offend the Spirit.

President Packer states this principle rather plainly: “This voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you. Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency” (“Personal Revelation: the Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).

We need to impress upon our youth that none of us can afford to navigate this spiritually treacherous world without the influence and guidance of the Holy Ghost. To be out of touch with the very power that will warn, guide, teach, protect, or give comfort is to leave ourselves open and vulnerable to the temptations and snares of the world and draw us further and further from the very source that will help and protect us.

When Joseph Smith was asked what made our Church different from other religions, he replied that we differed in mode of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (see James E. Faust, “Communion with the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 2002, 3).

 

To the OP, I take it you and your husband are endowed, have been sealed in the temple. Do you take your baptismal covenants and temple covenants to heart? How about all of your reading The Family Family: A Proclamation to the WORLD  https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&old=true

 and For The Strength of the Youth:  https://www.lds.org/youth/for-the-strength-of-youth?lang=eng

End of Lecture

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On 8/31/2018 at 1:26 PM, alyssab said:

I'm interested in y'all's thoughts. Have any of you given permission for a belly-button ring?

Nope.  I have two very different daughters.

  • My oldest (17yo) came out "appropriate" from the womb.  That is, we never needed to tell her about the law of chastity, or church dress and grooming standards.  She was just plain chaste from birth.  She wears no makeup.  The only jewelry she wears is a CTR ring, YW medallion, and a special pendant I gave her to remind her that I love her wherever she goes. 
  • My younger daughter (10 yo) however, will probably ask for permission as she gets older.  I won't give it. She's already wanted to wear makeup and jewelry.  We let her have a nail polish party with mom.  But when it's over she has to take it off.

My thoughts are these:

1) Whether you are aware or not, whether you believe it or not, in today's society a belly piercing is still a sign of sexuality.  Yes, yes.  I'm well aware that it is the "fashion".  And I'm sure 99.9% of people will say that it has nothing to do with sexuality.  But it is true.
2) When society changes to the point where it truly is just a fashion item like an ear ring and it is not at all considered sexual, then I would have no problem with having a navel decoration.  But that day is not here regardless of the protestations of the youth of today.
3) Regardless of the sexual/fashion aspect of it, it is also a piercing.  I thought we lived in the 21st century where self-mutilation was looked down upon.  Yes, we have surgeries for a medical purpose.  And we will have many other things done for a very practical purpose.  But to pierce our bodies for no other reason that "fashion demands it" makes about as much sense as jumping off a cliff just because everyone else does it...  Well, that just doesn't seem sound to me.

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On 8/31/2018 at 12:26 PM, alyssab said:

Our eldest daughter started her freshman year of college last week. Her first act of pseudo-independence was to get her belly button pierced the night that we moved her into her dorm. She turned 18 last month, and DH and I respect her right to make her own choices regarding her body.

However, our 15-year-old daughter is now emboldened by her sister. She also wants a belly-button ring but is not keen on waiting until college. I'm not sure how, but navel piercing has become somewhat standard for girls in high school. (DD currently has only her earlobes pierced.) We don't live in Utah. We've taught them our values, but our kids haven't grown up in that culture. The reality of the situation is that nearly all of DD's friends are non-LDS. And most of these girls have pierced belly buttons. I know well these girls my daughter associates with; they honor their parents, go to church, respect the community, do well in school, play sports and volunteer. They just happen to have a little jewel in their tummies. They don't at all adhere to the negative stereotypes of "teens with piercings." I know that having a belly-button ring would not affect DD's impeccable character. The overprotective mom in me answered her initial request: "Wait until you're 18." But after having given it some thought, I would be willing to sign the necessary forms to allow her to get her belly button pierced.

DH disagrees. He believes girls with belly rings are over-sexualized and fears subjecting DD to that. (Side note: We don't restrict our girls from showing their midriffs. It's the 21st century. They wear bikinis and crop tops. As such, DD15's belly ring would regularly be "shown off.") DH thinks all piercings are trashy, for lack of a better word.

According to DD, getting your belly button pierced is a rite of passage. She likens it to having pierced ears nowadays. I'm relieved that she doesn't want her nose or tongue (or nipples! 😱) pierced like some of her peers. We've had a talk with her about the extensive healing process and the responsibility required to stave off infection. She is mature enough to know that the piercing could attract the wrong kind of attention and change the way people perceive her -- as unfair as that might be. And she accepts the long-term consequences of having a possibly never-healing hole on her belly.

I'm interested in y'all's thoughts. Have any of you given permission for a belly-button ring?

tell em while they live your house they abide by your rules... including standards of dress. once they move out then it's pretty much limited to strong advice and love.

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On 8/31/2018 at 2:26 PM, alyssab said:

(Side note: We don't restrict our girls from showing their midriffs. It's the 21st century. They wear bikinis and crop tops. As such, DD15's belly ring would regularly be "shown off.")

 

DH thinks all piercings are trashy, for lack of a better word.

The belly-button ring is not the problem with your daughters.  It's the bolded above.

In my opinion, your DH has better judgment on this situation.  I suggest you allow him to exercise his priesthood authority on this matter.

 

P.S.  Just to give you context on where I'm coming from.  I don't have daughters, I have sons.  They're teen-aged now.  They've been wearing "garments" since they were old enough to get out of their onesies.  It's not temple garments, of course.  Rather, they wear boxer briefs and undershirts under their clothes.  We did this so that there won't be a transition period between "before endowment" and "after endowment" over the contents of their closet and their clothing habits.  If I had a daughter, she would have been brought up the same way and it would be highly unlikely we'd ever have to argue over how to care for belly buttons.

Edited by anatess2

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13 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

P.S.  Just to give you context on where I'm coming from.  I don't have daughters, I have sons.  They're teen-aged now.  They've been wearing "garments" since they were old enough to get out of their onesies.  It's not temple garments, of course.  Rather, they wear boxer briefs and undershirts under their clothes.  We did this so that there won't be a transition period between "before endowment" and "after endowment" over the contents of their closet and their clothing habits.  If I had a daughter, she would have been brought up the same way and it would be highly unlikely we'd ever have to argue over how to care for belly buttons.

That!

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On 9/2/2018 at 3:33 PM, Carborendum said:

2) When society changes to the point where it truly is just a fashion item like an ear ring and it is not at all considered sexual, then I would have no problem with having a navel decoration.  But that day is not here regardless of the protestations of the youth of today.

Doesn't matter what the society says about it.  The navel is not for public display.  There's no purpose for a navel decoration when it is not public... or, from another perspective, putting a decoration on a non-public part of your body just makes it more desirable to display it.

My advice is:  dress your kids in the same standards as they would dress after endowment.  If the dress standards after endowment changes, then that's when it changes, not when society declares it.

Edited by anatess2

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12 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Doesn't matter what the society says about it.  The navel is not for public display.  There's no purpose for a navel decoration when it is not public... or, from another perspective, putting a decoration on a non-public part of your body just makes it more desirable to display it.

My advice is:  dress your kids in the same standards as they would dress after endowment.  If the dress standards after endowment changes, then that's when it changes, not when society declares it.

I'd argue that the definition of "modesyy" does change with society for some things.  There are some body parts that are pretty much immutably sexual. But many others are purely societally based. 

You can argue that the navel is immutable.  I'd listen to those arguments.  But the blanket statement that modesty is in no way nuanced be societal norms is not a position I share 

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4 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I'd argue that the definition of "modesyy" does change with society for some things.  There are some body parts that are pretty much immutably sexual. But many others are purely societally based. 

You can argue that the navel is immutable.  I'd listen to those arguments.  But the blanket statement that modesty is in no way nuanced be societal norms is not a position I share 

Sure.  If your definition of modesty is cultural.  Having come from a place where we have such a mishmash of culture such that groups of people don't bother with wearing tops,  I don't look to culture to define modesty.  Rather, I look to the standards imposed by the wearing of the holy garments.

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Just now, anatess2 said:

Sure.  If your definition of modesty is cultural.  Having come from a place where we have such a mishmash of culture such that groups of people don't bother with wearing tops,  I don't look to culture to define modesty.  Rather, I look to the standards imposed by the wearing of the holy garments.

Read my post again. At least acknowledge the portion where I addressed that.

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Just now, Carborendum said:

Read my post again. At least acknowledge the portion where I addressed that.

We're probably talking past each other.  I have no idea what you're referring to by "that" so don't know where in your post to look for it so I can acknowledge it.

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1 minute ago, anatess2 said:

We're probably talking past each other.  I have no idea what you're referring to by "that" so don't know where in your post to look for it so I can acknowledge it.

You basically made three points.  I addressed each of them because I figured you'd counter with at least one of them.  But apparently all of my points went right past you.  I don't have the desire to repeat it all or spell it out for you. That is not an insult.  I'm really just not in the mood.

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Just now, Carborendum said:

You basically made three points.  I addressed each of them because I figured you'd counter with at least one of them.  But apparently all of my points went right past you.  I don't have the desire to repeat it all or spell it out for you. That is not an insult.  I'm really just not in the mood.

I only made one point.  In my opinion, there's only one standard of dress as a representative of Christ.  There's no difference in standard before endowment and after endowment.  So culture has no bearing on the matter.  So yeah, if you made points addressing any other point besides this, then it would fly right past me unrecognized.

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