Trapped in Claire’s Accessories

The subject of ear piercing came up last week with my children. I have always said not until they’re 16, and only if they get it done at a proper piercing place, not Claire’s Accessories or anywhere that uses a gun. I have good reasons for this. I’ll get to that later though – I don’t want to detract from my blog title, and that is being trapped in Claire’s Accessories.

Remember the episode of Father Ted, where the priests get trapped in Ireland’s largest lingerie section (so I understand)? It was A Christmassy Ted. Father Ted gets the Golden Cleric for the rescue. So heroic. My experience in Claire’s yesterday was a similar experience, except I didn’t have a lot of other priests there. Or other poor mums. And my eldest daughter played the role of Father Ted.

I obligingly took the offspring into Claire’s Accessories. I seriously do not like that shop, for various reasons. It is cramped. It is filled with horrific tat (although some of the hair things are cool – like the bun spiral things). Everything is too close together, and its a bit like being in John Lewis’ breakable department – you know something is going to break, or fall off, or a whole display is going to collapse around you. Movement in Claire’s is a very risky business.

I managed to get myself somewhere that I hoped was safe. But then I realised that there were people to the left of me. Display units in front of me. More people to the right of me. I couldn’t see a way out. The children were over the other side of the shop. The youngest one manages to disappear in shops, specially Claire’s. She’s tiny, so she disappears in crowded, cramped shops. I wanted to get out, but I was trapped.

I admit. I did feel a bit panicky. I couldn’t see a route out. I wasn’t only just out of the seminary though, so it wasn’t like my life was going to be ruined if I was seen in Claire’s. Then, my saviour. My rescuer. My eldest child. Hoorah!

She came over. I asked if we could get out of there. She said yes. I looked around and said that I was trapped. I couldn’t see a way out. She took my hand, led me out of the shop, deposited me outside and told me to stay there – she would go back in and fetch her sister. As I stood outside, I could see that a baby, around a year old, was about to have her ears pierced. Thankfully, both children came outside before it happened, meaning I could get away.

This brings me back to the ear piercing issue. In that shop, which was crowded with people, and cramped with all the tat, and in the window (which is surrounded by tat and people and eugh), they do ear piercing. Ok, they’ve got a pissy little sink; they wear gloves; they use pre packed sterilised earrings to do the piercing. But they use a gun. The worst thing ever to pierce with. And they’re there, doing it on babies. It honestly makes me feel ill.

When I had my earlobes pierced, it was in a jewellers, using a gun. Both times I had my earlobes done. I didn’t know of any other way when I was 16, and 19. Now, the thought of it makes me feel ill. I have 16 piercings now, and I know how they should be done. How piercing should be done properly. This is why I made the rule about being 16 and only by a professional piercer. I have now told the children that I will relax the 16 rule, but not the method.

Why do I feel so strongly about it? Because I know that the piercing guns rams a relatively blunt object through the flesh of the ear. I know that a piercing gun cannot be autoclaved, meaning it cannot be effectively sterilised. People will argue that no part of the gun touches the ear, but does that actually matter? You are putting sterilised objects into a non sterilised instrument. How can that be hygienic? And talking of hygiene, how can doing a piercing, creating an open wound in someone’s body, in a shop that is crowded with tat and people, be hygienic??!!! When you take your beloved child; your baby; your most precious thing in the world into Claire’s Accessories to be pierced, do these things not enter your head? Do you only see the pretty earrings?

Think about it. You might see body piercing shops as too alternative. They have people with multiple piercings in them. But those people with multiple piercings go through years of training to be able to do what they do. They are professional. There is nothing professional about a lass who is mainly a shop assistant, doing half a days training, being entrusted with an unhygienic instrument to make ragged and wonky holes in your child’s ears.

Next time you walk past Claire’s Accessories and you see a baby, or a child, or in fact anyone, sitting in the seat in the window, about to have their ears pierced, think about the damage that is potentially being done. If you’re thinking of going there for a piercing, stop. Don’t do it. Go to someone who knows what they are doing.  If you’re in the North West of England, take a day trip to Chester, and see the best man in the business, Carl at

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