As a single Mom I often miss the stern voice of a Father in times of parenting struggles. However, I made a startling observation in a recent Facebook poll. The poll was directed at Fathers of teen girls and posed the question, ‘Should a teen girl be allowed a belly piercing?’ The results revealed a conflict between men and women. Fathers of teen girls were adamantly opposed while Mothers of teens took a more casual approach.
The debate began when my fairly well adjusted teenage daughter asked to have her belly button pierced. I was adamantly opposed and did not understand why she wanted to do this. I assumed it to be some form of rebellion particularly as she is now the product of a divorced family. I closed the question and hoped it would not resurface. A beautiful sunny day by the pool with good friends and their teen daughters stifled my hope. As the cover-ups came off, the belly rings glistened in the sunlight. I was quickly turned into a seriously ‘old fashioned Mom’. Still, I was not convinced. I turned to Facebook. My daughter and I agreed to poll my Facebook friends. She believed she would prove a belly piercing is NOT a sign of rebellion and simply an accessory.
While 70% of my Facebook friends were opposed to a 16 year old teen girl receiving a belly piercing, the overall results were a bit eye-opening for both of us and revealed a potential conflict between Mother and Father in the home. 90% of ALL men polled and 97% of men over 40 said, ‘No!’ and men were very vocal with comments such as ‘it’s trashy’, ‘not under my roof’ and ‘I would snatch it out’
In contrast, women over 40 with teenage daughters were the main contributor to the Yes vote (85% of those who voted yes has recently or is currently raising a teen daughter). Not to be misleading as ultimately 60% of ALL females voting were opposed, but Moms of teen girls were clearly divided on the issue.
There are many ways to categorize the votes. However my observation is with 97% of men over 40 roaring loudly their opposition to a 16 year old adorning her belly with jewels and women over 40 made up 85% of the yes’s with casual comments such as “it’s just a darn belly ring”, “it’s not permanent and will grow back”… certainly sounds like a conflict to me.
My objective was accomplished. I learned from young adults. Very successful young ladies who did in fact have a belly piercing as a teen stated ‘It is merely a fashion thing, an accessory, a way to feel more girly. It is NOT indicative of rebellion, promiscuity or a way to flaunt and they never felt loose or trashy.’
My daughter learned that when I say it is a bigger issue to listen as I may just be right. She was shocked by the comments from Fathers. As her Mom I still have authority to make decisions best for her, however I want her to feel I am listening to her. Many of my Facebook friends complimented my approach of open discussion as opposed to dictating an adamant opposition to my daughter. My friends were equally impressed with her respect in asking my permission and being open to listen, discuss and learn.
Of course the majority of my Facebook friends are over 40 and the teen vote was not counted as they are not adults. However, 100% of all teen girls said yes… of course!