Accessorized To Death

spanish-baby-girlWhy me?

Why do I have to be the one to witness a baby being tortured with jewelry at 10 o’clock in the morning?

I was on my way to a go-see for a post-menopausal drug…yes, this is what happens to old models. You go from Gucci to hormone replacement without passing go.

The train was unusually empty for that hour except for me, a sailor, a couple of school kids, a Black woman the size of a mountain and three Latino women with a baby.

Could have been an add for diversity in our fair city.

As the number 6 wormed its way down Lex, I’m sitting right across from a 4 month-old who, in her little lavender dress that poofed at the bottom, looked like all she needed was a lampshade. She was held by, who may have been a very young grandmother, while the other two women, in their early 20s at most one being the mom, sat on either side. I was charmed of course: puppies and babies, kittens and Little People, my specialty.

I loved her black ringlets curling in the back watching Granny kiss her now and then on her itty-bitty forehead. She had chubby legs adorned with anklets and shiny black ballerinas.

Suddenly she starts screaming at the top of her teeny lungs. Mom was trying to force an earring into her ear and she wasn’t having it.

Have you ever tried shoving an earring in when it doesn’t want to cooperate? It’s a killer. But these women were determined she was wearing hoops, and that was that. This is what happens when babies have babies.

Why Granny didn’t put her foot down was a mystery, but then again, all Latino infants get their ears pierced like a Spanish circumcision.

Let me just say, when I hear a kid cry, I’m at attention always responding in some way and this wasn’t going to be any different. They were torturing this kid for their own sick fashion sense, like when I’m forced to wear polyester….oh no, not on my watch senoritas.

As I was about to intervene, Big Black Mama did it for me, and was she fabulous. She got up, stood in front of these three women and said, “You stop hurtin that bayba’, you hea me? That choll’ don’t need no jew’ry. She’s a bayba’…you cut it out…YOU  HEA ME?”

I watched the sailor nod and the school kids look away from their iPhones. I became her instant wingman saying, “YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT.”

These three women looked petrified, and the baby…bless her little, happy heart giggled as if to say…”You tell-em Big Mama.”

And then I got off the train.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, humor, kids, Love, modeling, New York City, parents, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Accessorized To Death

  1. micklively says:

    Thanks for a great story Susannah. At last, you’ve found an ally. Now I don’t have to lie awake worrying about you getting thumped.


  2. Lynn says:

    This brought such a smile to my face Susannah. I can just picture Big Black Mama dressing down these women. Good for her for having the chutzpah to say something!


  3. Elle Knowles says:

    M sister got her daughters ears pierced at two weeks old. Oh…she had her husbands blessing. But…when she presented his daughter to him the next evening and her ears were twinkling he gasped and said, “I thought you would at least wait until she was sixteen or so before getting this done. I didn’t realize you meant the next day!” It takes all kinds of people to make up this world. 😉 BTW I wasn’t too pleased about the ordeal she had put that baby through either.


  4. katecrimmins says:

    Funny story. I can picture her scolding that family. How do you find these people?


  5. MJ says:

    Great piece, Susannah—a heroine with real gravitas, backed by a cross-town chorus of disapproval: the Model, the Sailor, et al. I’m not surprised it took “a village” to penetrate the thick skulls of these women who were treating the baby as if she were made of plastic! I suspect, though, that the little victim’s relief didn’t last long. It seems likely she’s one of the legion of babies who are brought into the world to provide a meal ticket, relationship glue, an enhanced sense of self-esteem. a plaything. It’s all about the parent’s needs, not the baby’s. And sadly, as your vignette illustrates, it’s not just the young who behave so irresponsibly.


    • Oh MJ…now I’m worried about that little sweetie..such truth in your words. They call it emotional incest…a horrible phrase, but it’s when the parents use the child for their own emotional needs. I’ve seen it first hand and it’s not too pretty.


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