A mother posted a photo of her infant daughter with a pierced dimple on Facebook, sparking outrage, threats and calls to remove the child from her custody.
The photo shows a beaming baby with a diamond-studded piercing on her left cheek. It was captioned with her mother's unapologetic, although sarcastic, words.
"I think she's gonna love it!!," Enedina Vance wrote on June 28. "I'm the parent, she is MY CHILD, I will do whatever I want! I make all of her decisions until she's 18, I made her, I own her!! I don't need anyone's permission, I think it's better, cuter, & I prefer her to have her dimple pierced."
The post garnered more than 13,000 shares on Facebook and some strong comments.
One woman said she was going to make sure authorities knew about the picture, calling Vance an "abusive and an unfit mother." Another woman told her to "get hit by a car," after saying, "I called CPS and made a police report against you for child endangerment and child abuse!"
Vance explained the photo was a fake, created in Photoshop, in a post later that day. She explained photo, along with its over-the-top caption, was a way to draw parallels between circumcision and body piercing.
"How is it so triggering, so enraging to see my baby with a pierced dimple, but actually knowing a baby is being strapped down & forcibly having his most sensitive & innervative portion of his penis amputated, seems perfectly ok??" she asked. "How can society threaten death over one, but encourage & support the other? Piercing is bad, but cutting is accepted as the norm?"
Vance is opposed to circumcision and piercing children, CNN reported. Some parents did pick up on her stance, and weren't happy about it.
"Your post is stupid and ignorant," a woman told Vance in a Facebook message. "I'm having a girl and I will get her ears pierced. It's easier to do it while their (sic) young."
Still, Vance was surprised at how many couldn't tell the picture was a fake.
"I seriously can not believe how many people missed that this was purely satirical," she said, "I actually used the hashtag #sarcasm lol yet people were still threatening to beat me to death, call child protective services, & take away my children."
Vance admitted she wanted to stir up controversy with the photo.
"I wanted people to get outraged, to react, to be completely shocked that someone would pierce their child's face," she wrote in a message. "Then, after they realize what the post is actually about, piercing the face doesn't seem so bad when compared to genital cutting."
Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman