Are double-pierced ears trashy or OK on tween/teens?

My 12 year-old had her ears pierced for Christmas last year, and now she wants to get a second piercing.

She wants to add a second hole to both her ear lobes and swears she never wants to get anything else pierced.

I feel very old school about this. When I grew up the the “punk” girls had more than one piercing. I know that is very “Footloose” parents of me, and I’m trying to tell myself that two holes in the ear lobes is not bad.  I definitely wouldn’t allow her to get anything else pierced or even further up the ear.

Michael says it just seems too punk for a 12-year-old. I think we both think she should wait maybe a few more years before adding a second hole to her lobes if at all.

Are we being too “Footloose” parents about this? Are two ear lobe piercings bad? Are other piercings bad? Would you let your teen pierce the top of their ear or their nose or their belly button? (Lilina loves to tell me that our babysitter, whom I love, has a belly button ring.)

59 comments Add your comment


September 16th, 2013
12:00 am

When a 12-year-old “swears” anything…

… yeah, right.

Logical Dude

September 16th, 2013
2:03 am

My opinion:
It’s okay to have multiple ear piercings for children under 12. Keep the piercings in the ears!
At about at 15-16, it’s okay to pierce other areas (nose ring, lip ring, eyebrow, navel)
After 18, then it’s all for the person’s choice. Private areas, tongue, corset, etc. etc. etc.


September 16th, 2013
5:47 am

I had one piercing each in my ears at age 7, and then in college I decided to get a second in one ear only. I made the decision and paid for it myself and to this day (I’m in my 40s) I wear a stud or hoop in that 2nd hole and have never gotten a comment about it. So if this were my daughter, I’d say stick with the 2 she has now and when she’s in high school or beyond get the 2nd one if she still wants it.


September 16th, 2013
6:29 am

Not a big fan but that is just me. It is funny how things change and are accepted. I just saw a photo of my nephew, who is an educated professional, wearing a necklace. He is a fine young man. My own parents would have had a FIT with a necklace on a man. HAHA! I also do not like tattoos and my own kids know this. Again, just me. I cannot stand lip or tongue piercings.

TWG we did see a LOT more piercings and tattoos in AZ. Perhaps it had not caught on here. The thing is a piercing can grow back but a tattoo takes more work.

My daughter has been interviewed 3 times for a new job. She said they told her they are now doing a security clearance. My husband says, ” I hope she passes as sometimes they could get the wrong person with a typo in the system.” ( He is in management). I laughed and told him about the worst thing she has done is eat candy for breakfast. She is pretty conservative and I do not worry about her trying to set a trend or keep up with her peers. Her room mates are low key too. I appreciate that. Just hard workers who are trying to graduate from college. No drama no mess.


September 16th, 2013
6:54 am

I can’t wait to tell my 67 year old mom that she is punk because she has two holes in each ear.

I think if you try to control your kid over something so little (an unused hole will grow back together later) – you’re going to be in a world of hurt because she’s going to rebel in a big way soon. A second ear piercing is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.


September 16th, 2013
7:00 am

@seriously, I think my stepmom has a double piercing in one ear but I am not positive. HAHA.
They live out of state.

We set clear boundaries and so far we have not had much push back. They are now adults and pretty much on their own.

They do know where I draw the line:

NO cell phones at the dinner table
Dress appropriately for venues we attend

Are two biggies!


September 16th, 2013
7:29 am

Since you asked for opinions, I weigh in with a big “No.”

I see hundreds of kids a day. The ones with multiple piercings are NOT the ones you would want Rose to think of as her peers! Keep it dialed back a notch!


September 16th, 2013
7:30 am

I’ve had two holes in my ears since I was 11. I almost always simply wear studs in the 2nd hole. I see lots of girls and moms with the stud in the nose.I find that much more acceptable that a ring, tongue piercing or lip/eyebrow piercing.

What shocks me most lately lately is the number of young women who have huge tattoos across their chests. If you’re going to get a tattoo, at least get one that can be easily covered with normal clothing. What is cool now may not be something you’re going to be proud of 15 or 20 years from now.


September 16th, 2013
7:40 am

There is nothing wrong per se with her wanting them pierced or you and Michael wanting to hold off.

Now, both my children have had their ears pierced since they were 7.

At our house we compromised on the 2nd earring. Justice and Claire sell those earings that “clip” higher on the lobe so it looks like an additonal piercing. We did this b/c we had had complications and infections with the original holes.

Part of it is that they want to do the punk/rocker look. This is a time of figuring out who Rose *thinks* she is. I say if you can find middle grounds on it, and save the real “battles” for the big stuff you go a long way to building a good kid.

Another compromise: We did pink and purple hair coloring as long as the hair did not get bleached first. We have kool-aid died the hair blue or green in the summer as well.

In the end, it is your child, your rules.

BTW, in Footloose both the preacher and his wife did lighten up. In fact she laughed at him, and reminded him that you can only do so much to hold on to the kids.


September 16th, 2013
7:43 am

This makes me smile and brings back memories. When I was I think a Freshman in high school, I wanted to get my ears double pierced. My mom would not let me, and I listened to her. My two friends’ parents told them no too but they did it anyway. I never ended up doing it, and 20+ years later, I’m glad I didn’t because I just don’t really care for the look at this point. It made me realize years later, that my mom actually did know better about some things! I was just too chicken to go behind my parents back and do it!

I also debated getting a dolphin tattoo in college because that was my sorrority’s mascot. Decided not to, and again, so so so happy I didn’t. A dolphin tattoo on a woman pushing 40? Not so cute.


September 16th, 2013
7:48 am

@ Techmom…my kids went and are at UGA. I once saw a teacher with a grapefruit sized bulldog tattoo on her ankle. WOW. Not my style….haha!

FCM…you are way cooler than me. No hair dying at this house. No one ever asked…haha!


September 16th, 2013
7:51 am

This morning I saw a young woman with stud earring poking out of both her wrists. The surrounding areas were red and looked infected. It looked quite strange because I had to wonder what was holding them inside her arms. This is the level of piercings you need to be worried about. The questions you and your daughter need to be asking are: is it a healthy place to get a piercing, how will this affect future piercings should she let them grow in, and how will it affect you as a parent and your relationship with her? My kids waited until they were out of the house to “try and dye.” I always reminded them that life is long and they have plenty of time to experiment later. And so they are. And we are all happy about it.


September 16th, 2013
7:57 am

Good topic. One that I ask myself often. My daughter is 10 and just got 1st holes at age 8. I got my ears pierced at 8 and second holes at 11 (early 80’s)
Mine hasn’t ask for second holes but I think when she does I will tell her she needs to wait until she is at least 16 or so. I regret having them. The holes only grow back if you stop wearing earrings in them within the first few years. My second holes are permanent and I wish they were not there. I don’t think it looks bad to wear studs or small hoops in the second hole but I hate having to think about it. I hate that my holes always show and I rarely have anything in them. I know it sounds stupid but I just wish I had never done it.
I really do not think it looks trashy. I just think it can be a permanent decision. One that should not be made at age 11. I despise other piercings of any kind. They are right up there with tattoos to me and will not be allowed in my house as long as my kids are underage.
@FCM, I’ve loosened on the hair thing. It seems to have gone from being a sign of rebellion to just a temporary, fun look. I hated it the first time my niece got it done but, like you said, she had the bleach and the bright pink stripe with a funky hair cut and basically looked ridiculous. My daughter likes to spray a few sections of hair with pink hairspray and then it washes out. I’m okay with that. Haven’t done the Kool Aid thing but I know “everyone is doing it” :-) My son’s private school does not allow things like pink hair. Makes things a bit easier on the parents.


September 16th, 2013
7:58 am

Theresa, my comment got lost.

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

September 16th, 2013
8:06 am

I got a second set of earring piercings when I was in high school. It’s never been commented on in the decades since, but as others with multiples have said, I also tend to wear smaller earrings these days. I don’t think it would be a big deal for your daughter, particularly if she will just be wearing small studs in the new holes.

My 8 year old daughter thinks the whole earrings thing sounds too painful to contemplate even one set, and my husband and I are fine waiting until she changes her mind.


September 16th, 2013
8:22 am

Wow, Thersea, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone human being as obsessed with being accepted by others as you. You base every decision on what you think everyone else will think of you. Try this… Establish who you are and what your compass is, then use it to make decsions and forget what everyone lese thinks. You will end up a much happier person. BTW, double piercings mean nothing, they are just that, 2 sets of earrings.


September 16th, 2013
8:29 am

My daughter got her second piercing on one of her ears when she was 16. At first I didn’t like it, but she did and I don’t have a problem with it. Middle School seems young, but honestly, I don’t really see the problem. My daughter wears a stud in that ear. Today she has a nose ring (she’s an adult now). As long as they don’t go overboard with the piercings, there really is no issue. In my daughter’s words, “I can let a piercing close. A tattoo is more permanent, so I won’t be getting one.”

ATL Born and Raised

September 16th, 2013
8:38 am

Ear piercings aren’t a big deal. I had several through college, and eventually took them all out except for one. I just got tired of it and my skin was extremely sensitive to having metal in it all day every day. Now I hardly wear earrings at all except for on certain occasions. You can’t even tell there were ever multiple holes in my ears. They’ve all closed up now except for the one.

That being said, I would definitely recommend you take your daughter to an actual piercing artist and have it done with clamps and needle if you decide to let her go through with it. The piercings will heal back better if she ever wants to take them out as there will be less scar tissue than with a cheap piercing gun. And it’s less painful and prone to infection.

ATL Born and Raised

September 16th, 2013
8:44 am

@historywriter Those are subdermal implants. Not traditional piercings.


September 16th, 2013
8:49 am

Different strokes, different folks. My husband was adamantly opposed to ANY ear piercing for our daughter. Ever. (Mine aren’t pierced, but only because of an odd metal sensitivity — after years of infected ears, I just gave up.) We finally compromised and she was allowed to have ONE piercing. She wanted another one in high school, but no dice. When she got to college, she had second piercings done. And last year, she got a 3rd piercing in one ear — I didn’t like it, but hey, she’s 22, it’s her ears, and it’s discrete, I seldom notice it.

No other piercings. No tattoos. She says she’s done. :-) I suspect the third one will eventually fade away as life gets in the way, but meanwhile, if this is the extent of her “rebellion”, I can live with it. :-)


September 16th, 2013
8:53 am

I got a second hole when I was about 13. It wasn’t a big deal at all. It’s since grown in since I stopped wearing studs in them years ago, but oh well. I did want other piercings for a while, but grew out of that phase before actually doing anything. You have to trust that your daughter will do the same. If she doesn’t, then she’ll probably have to wait until she’s 18 to get any more, and then at that point, you can’t control her anyway.

Atlanta Mom

September 16th, 2013
9:03 am

“Michael says it just seems too punk for a 12-year-old. I think we both think she should wait maybe a few more years before adding a second hole to her lobes if at all.”
I trust you’ve made your decision. You don’t want it, your husband doesn’t want it–case closed right?
You’ve put this question out here because you’re interested in what other people think?


September 16th, 2013
9:07 am

Eh, whatever. Personally, I don’t find them trashy, but she’s 12 — if you don’t want her to have a double piercing yet, make her wait. I got a second set when I was about 15. No big deal. Got tired of them and they closed up years ago. As for eyebrows, higher up the ear, nose, navel, etc. — I don’t think parents should allow that. Make them wait until they’re 18, then they can do what they want.


September 16th, 2013
9:44 am

Double piercings are not a big deal. I don’t think they’re punkish or trashy for a 12 year old. My daughter got her second set around 13. I think I was around that age too. Neither of us have any other piercings or tattoos. Most people just wear studs in them anyway.


September 16th, 2013
9:45 am

@ MJG…It was a single stripe not the whole head and b/c I wouldn’t let them bleach it, the color wasn’t the “candy” looking stuff of punk. It was more like an odd highlight. One teacher did look at my daughter and said “Is your hair purple in front?” b/c the lights hit it as she came out into the sun. She said “Yes ma’am.” To my knowledge that is all that was ever said.

I don’t think I am a cool Mom. I have pleanty of “no” ( in my conservations. For the most part they are good kids. I have shared the homework challenges and my children certainly don’t think I am cool on that subject.

Neither child has odd color hair at moment. The older one wants highlights. I told her when she is 16 we will talk (2+ years). I don’t want her to rush to the “grown-up stuff”.

Side note on the homework/activities: Older child is forgoing a much look forward too after school club. She came to me this weekend and said she felt she needed to make sure she concentrated on her studies. She did say she wanted Church activities pulled last. She likes the connection to her spiritual family. She also said she knows this is her last year to “practice” before colleges start looking at her.

K's Mom

September 16th, 2013
9:50 am

@TWG, can we talk about the racist tweets and comments that have come out of the Miss America Pageant? I am simply floored at the ignorance of these people and more floored that they will use their names to spread their hatred.


September 16th, 2013
10:01 am

IF she wants to wear more than one pair of earrings, why not get some clip-ons? If she still wants the second set of actual piercings when she’s say, 15, then revisit the issue.

non committal mind reader

September 16th, 2013
10:23 am

Double piercings are fine, as long as we are talking about ear lobes: one stud, one hoop.

My young daughters (5 and 3) both have had pierced ears since about their first birthday. They wear 14k yellow gold. (no junk jewelry, no silver, no white gold, etc). If they want another LOBE piercing when they get to 12 years old… fine. It’s not trashy. It’s actually fairly typical.


September 16th, 2013
10:27 am

@FCM: My daughter wanted to play with hair color in high school, but her (private) school had a fairly strict rule against “unnatural” hair color (i.e., no pinks, blues, purple, etc.), so I was able to duck it. They were also strict on “visible body piercings”, i.e., no nose, lip, etc. Her senior year in college, she decided to try life as a red-head with a rinse. “This is how we learn.” :-) The rinse didn’t completely rinse out . . .


September 16th, 2013
10:28 am

Many here would be shocked to see the piercings some of your demurely-dressed-at-church friends and neighbors have in some very interesting places.


September 16th, 2013
10:30 am

And to answer one of T’s questions: Yes, sorry, I DO think it’s a little trashy on pre-teens and young teenagers. Young girls are naturally beautiful — they don’t need multiple piercings to enhance their beauty, and if they want to “express” themselves, let ‘em experiment with lip gloss.

Father of a soon to be 12 Year old

September 16th, 2013
10:36 am

I guess if this is “ALL” I have to worry about when my daughter turns 12 with-in two months; I might be able to survive. Funny thing is that you are telling our age becasue “when I grew up the the “punk” girls had more than one piercing”………..funny! I am still a little shy about it, but I learned to live with it when I saw a few strands of her hair a different color after coming from the beauty shop one day………..THE HORROR!!!! LOL. Only question I might ask her is why do you want this? And if she comes back with an answer that sounds like she has perspective ( not “all the kids are doing” if she comes back with that I do go all “Footloose” on her) and a well thought aout response……….then I let her have it. Besides I remember how my dad reacted when I got my ear pierced……….then got them both pierced! THE HORROR!!! They are closed now but I do remember how I would be viewed as one of “those kids”. LOL good luck!

Father of a soon to be 12 Year old

September 16th, 2013
10:38 am


I respect your opinion but its the lip gloss that I have the exact feeling about being a “little trashy on pre-teens and young teenagers”. I say NO NO NO to that!!!!!


September 16th, 2013
10:50 am

I think dB was making a joke. Or maybe not. If she is my age, we thought sneaking out to wear lip gloss,was the height of rebellion!


September 16th, 2013
10:51 am

And, later, eye shadow! But never eye liner (it was trashy)


September 16th, 2013
10:56 am

I don’t have a daughter so I can’t answer this question with regards to children. I have a son who shows no interest in tattoos or piercings but who does like to dress in what I call Modern Fresh Prince. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it. He’s a good kid.

Now, I am “pushing 40″ and I have 7 tattoos (most obtained when I was older than 30) and I have 3 piercings, traditional ear I got when I was about 7 and a nose stud I got about 6 years ago. I only ever really wear the nose stud, since it’s a pain to get in and out and I largely forget it’s there. Earrings I tend to only wear when I am dressing up for something. In fact, the only jewelry I wear are my nose stud, my wedding ring (without my engagement ring), and a sport watch (Timex Ironman Sleek).

All of my ink are easily disguisable for when I need to give presentations or lead a training for work, so they’re not a big deal. Though, my workplace is aware of my ink and they don’t care.

As for the question – so, no, I don’t think it’s trashy. At least not anymore.

Growing up I was raised to view multiple ear piercing as “common” and a bit sleezy and tattoos were certainly verboten. I was raised in what could probably be considered the lower upper class. Or maybe the very upper middle class.

I can’t explain why I later gravitated towards tattoos. It’s not rebellion. Too old. And my folks certainly don’t even try to comment. I mean, I’m 39 with a highly successful career, a good marriage, and a great kid. I think I got my tattoos due to sentiment. They’re none of them aesthetic. They’re all purely black ink and hold meaning for things which will not fade in my life.

As for trashy…I still have to shake off the vestiges of prejudice that multiple ear holes are trashy from my upbringing. So, there’s that weirdness. But, no, they’re not trashy. Trashy is strictly with regards to how you treat yourself and others.

Oh, and I have a 12 year old…do NOT believe a word she says about NEVER doing anything. They have poor judgement, which is normal. They’re still recovering from the brain damage of being born (kidding…but only kinda).


September 16th, 2013
11:19 am

Regarding the ear rings, sure why not? Why stop at just two? Go lobes and cartilage! Nose,too! Lips! Eye brows, yeah, eyebrows!! In this desperate age of “Notice Me” culture, the more the merrier!
Why not a Tramp Stamp for her too? Her boyfriend will love it!


September 16th, 2013
11:26 am

I have 4 tats, all obtained in my 30’s. I have a few piercings, all obtained in my late 20’s – early 30’s, not counting the original ear piercing in my childhood. My tats & piercings are easily covered up/removed for certain events so they’re not a big deal.

I got my ears pierced for the first time at 7, and went for the 2nd piercing when I was 12. I don’t think small studs/hoops are trashy. She’s trying to figure out who she is and what she likes, and if this is your main concern you really have little to worry about. However, if she’s got friends like I did growing up, someone is going to offer to freeze her ear and do a home piercing. Much better to let her get the piercing and take her to a reputable place to have it done.

But obviously you have already decided the outcome of her request so why even bother asking. Plenty other topics that could be discussed rather than ear piercing.

times change

September 16th, 2013
11:58 am

I think trashy is a bit harsh, especially since so many people have piercings these days. Just tell her she has to wait (until high school, 18, whatever you are comfortable with.) She may or may not grow out of the desire by then.

I have 6 ear piercings, 2 on one side, 4 on the other, including a cartilage pierce. Second and third holes in one ear were done in high school by a friend. It took my parents months to even notice so they lost any credibility they had when they tried to tell me how bad it looked! Never had any issues at work (I am a senior financial exec.)

I find it funny that my 13 year old daughter has no desire to get her ears pierced at all. I’ve been asking for years since I got mine first pierced at a young age. I think she is concerned about the pain, but she is also very active in sports and figures they will just get in the way. No earrings allowed on the field or on the court for games. She never has a totally sports free month which she would need to get them pierced and healed before having to take them out for the next sport.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 16th, 2013
11:59 am

MJG — Tattoos are rampant out here!!! I am shocked by the number of moms with them at our elementary school — It may be generational and not necessarily area??? Not sure — it seems like a lot of the younger moms have them. However AZ is very big into don’t mess with me.

I feel like I am against getting it at this point but I really did want your opinions to know if I was way off base on this. If everyone was like no two earrings is not big deal then I would have to think on it some more. It’s a sounding board.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 16th, 2013
12:04 pm

I think I am fairly conservative so I don’t want to be “Footloose” crazy conservative — I want to be open to things as times change.


September 16th, 2013
12:22 pm

I had my ears double pierced in middle school behind my mother’s back. It was my act of rebellion. She didn’t even let it bother her which drove me crazy at the time. But looking back as a mother now – she was very smart. I ended up let them grow back together.

My husband and I agree that we should pick our battles. There are some just more important than others. I personally don’t have a problem with a second ear piercing, but I would have a problem with facial piercings.

ATL Born and Raised

September 16th, 2013
12:36 pm

I honestly think the more you make mountains out of molehills on issues like this the more your kids are going to want to push the envelope. Piercings, makeup, and hair dye are easy and reversible body-mods. My parents pretty much let me do whatever I wanted in high school as long as I paid for it myself.

I had a bunch of piercings and I dyed my hair all the time and experimented with makeup. I never looked “punk” or “goth”. Probably the closest I got was “rocker” but most of the time I just looked “normal”. Multiple piercings are pretty mainstream nowadays. Most girls I went to school with had multiples in their ears, a naval piercing, and at least one facial piercing (usually eyebrow or nose). Even the preppy types.

Got it all out of my system for the most part after college. Too much work keeping up with hair dye too far form my natural color and the piercings really started to irritate me. I stopped after one tattoo because I didn’t like the pain and after care.


September 16th, 2013
1:51 pm

Trashy but not as trashy as piercing of other body parts. Nothing says trash like the face piercings.


September 16th, 2013
1:58 pm

@ ATL born and raised…my parents pretty let me do nothing in HS even though I was paying for everything myself: school lunch, all clothes and shoes, supplies, room and board of $20 per week. I worked 30 ( more if I could) hours a week at Wal Mart for $2.45 an hour. I was provided a 1966 Ford station wagon with gas and insurance. I also had my own bedroom with furniture and a shower plus use of the washer dryer and iron. I had $5000.00 saved for 1978.

@DB and catlady…YES on the lip gloss!

re: picking your battles…some families have more battle grounds than others. I saw and heard a lot from my kid’s friends and their parents. To me, it is easier if you try to surround yourself with families who have similar values and faith. You will never agree on everything but then have an open discussion as to why people do or do not do things. Being exposed to different lifestyles is a good thing. Being best friends with those families…eh…not so much when your children are in the formative years. That is just me. Mine have seen a lot of different things and rarely pushed back from what we expected. I am blessed we did not have to endure a raucous time with them. Pretty much done now.

@ DB…I believe I saw your daughter as a red head and thought it looked good. I tease that I am going to try it myself sometime. I would not care if my daughter changed her color but am not sure how I would be with BLUE GREEN OR ORANGE. She is 21 so there is not much I can do but cringe, if it looks bad…haha!

TWG…from what I have experienced, lots of things are different in AZ than in GA. I meet some wonderful people but see some pretty strange things too. LOVE to visit but probably would not want to live there. I am there about once a year!

Two in the ear is no big deal...

September 16th, 2013
3:01 pm

…it is when she wants them in the nose, tongue, eyebrow, etc., or she wants on e of those big coin type in the earlobe that a lot of guys, and some girls, wear, that you and Michael need to start wondering where you went wrong…

Real Life

September 16th, 2013
3:15 pm

Trashy depends on what is worn in the extra piercings. But at her age just the one piercing in each ear is sufficient. She can choose others when she is older and can pay herself. And the road to adulthood is paved with the sworn promises kids gave to get what they wanted. Many of us may have made one of those promises or know someone who did. And never is a completely different concept when we are young.

ATL Born and Raised

September 16th, 2013
3:54 pm

@MJG That is unfortunate and I think that would have caused nothing but resentment in a lot of young people, myself included. My parents were always of the mindset that if I didn’t like what was provided for me I had to provide the desired alternative for myself, but they weren’t about to tell me what I could and could not do with my own money that I earned.


September 16th, 2013
4:13 pm

Don’t let your 12 year old get more than one piercing in her ears. To me it is just tacky because she is still a child…and you are just asking for trouble if you give in to her now. In a few years, a lot of things will be beyond your control. There is no reason to let her grow up too fast.


September 16th, 2013
5:10 pm

Count me as a generally conservative dad who doesn’t see double pierced ears as any big deal at all. I do like the suggestion someone made up the thread about hearing her answer for wanting this, could go a long way toward helping you find peace about whatever answer you decide.