Is Getting Your 4 Year Old a Lip Ring Grounds for the Court to Change Custody?

Sometime back, Kourtney Kardashian got her 4 year old daughter Penelope a lip ring – a situation that ignited heated debate on social media. This inspired this post. Should a 4 year old be given a lip ring? Under normal circumstances should a parent lose custody for putting a lip ring into the lips of a 4 year old child?

We have been discussing the Kardashians quite a bit as I mentioned in this post and this post and one of the things we talked about was the “lip ring saga.” Our editor challenged me to write an article about that. At first I was going to write a straight parenting article about whether this lip ring signifies that Kourtney may not be as great a parent as some have been touting her to be over at Divorce Saloon, and elsewhere.

But then I decided to discuss it from a more distant place and that is within the context of custody. Let us say this was not Kourtney Kardashian but that this was your precious little four year old that you let spend the weekend with your ex, pursuant to the custody order that the court signed off on.

So you send your daughter to spend the weekend with her mother (or father as the case may be) and the child comes back with a lip ring. What do you do about this? Is this a problem? Is it an issue? And if it is an problem or an issue, how big is this problem or issue?
For me, a four year old with a lip ring is clearly an issue. I wouldn’t insert this into my daughter’s lips personally but is it a big problem that, had I ever to have found myself in a situation like this could mean a visit to court for a modification of the visitation order? I think it might.

I remember when Halle Berry’s ex Gabriel Aubry dyed their daughter Nahla’s hair blond and Halle went to court about that. I believe the judge ruled that neither of the two of them was to change the little girl’s hair.

What if Nahla had come home with a lip ring inserted into her lips? Let’s say that it was done on Halle’s watch. Would Gabriel have any standing to protest that? Could he go back to court and get an order that Halle Could not do that? I think so.

For things like lip rings, my view is that both parents would need to consent to it otherwise it is not only an issue it is a problem and the courts would have to become involved.  Whether this practice of inserting lip rings into the lips of a four year old makes a parent a bad parent or not is another question. It is a question of judgment as much as it is a question of recreation as much as it is a question of appropriateness. But just because it may be inappropriate does not by itself mean this is a bad parent. It really depends, I think, on what else is going on in this particular situation.

As I said, my four year old would under no circumstances wear a lip ring. But I don’t know if it would be such a big problem, standing alone, that should change a custody arrangement.
But maybe it should. What do you think?