Majandra Delfino: Why I Pierced My Daughter’s Ears

10/14/2013 at 02:00 PM ET

David Walton, Majandra Delfino Pregnant Hit On
Jesse Grant/WireImage

All her life, Majandra Delfino has wanted people to know she’s a proud Latina — but it hasn’t always worked out that way.

“I’m so white and nobody knows I’m Latin — it drives me crazy,” the Venezuelan actress, 32, tells PEOPLE, adding that her last name tips some people off to her background.

“When people see me, they don’t think I’m Latin, but then they hear the name and they’re like, ‘Oh, where’s your name from?'” the Friends with Better Lives star says. “And then it starts the conversation.”

Now mom to 16-month-old Cecilia, Delfino wants people to know her daughter is Latina, too, so she did what a lot of moms do — she got her baby girl’s ears pierced.

“Her name is Cecilia Walton and she’s totally my coloring so she looks totally like a white girl, and it’s kind of a bummer,” Delfino jokes.

“When she was born and I [realized] what the situation was going to be — that she could very well go through life without anyone knowing — I went and got her ears pierced,” she adds with a laugh.

Delfino and her husband, actor David Walton, thought that after they pierced her ears, everyone would know that Cecilia was Latin. But it didn’t quite work out that way. “They just think we’re crazy white people who pierced our child’s ears,” she says.

According to the expectant actress — she’s due in December with the couple’s second child — there were also some people who judged her for her decision. “They have these negative connotations with it. If you don’t know that there are many cultures that pierce ears — including French — I hate to say it, but the truth is you’re not very culturally aware,” Delfino explains.

“It drives me crazy because those very people will make these very snap judgments about it. [I think to myself], ‘You guys cut your baby’s penis skin.’ And that’s fine … I let you do your thing, let me do my thing — this is my culture. It’s such a hot topic.”

Although people may have a hard time believing her daughter is Latina, Cecilia is already being raised with Latin traditions.

“We speak to her in Spanish all day, we have books in Spanish — we definitely have the Latin thing going and the foods she eats,” Delfino, who stars in the upcoming CBS sitcom Friends with Better Lives, says. “But as far as the world, when she goes out into the world — people perceiving what her nationality is — it’s been such a challenge.”

— Lee Hernandez

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Showing 35 comments

blessedwithboys on

Circumcision is dumb but so is piecing a baby’s ears.

Alicia on

I really wish that people would just mind their business. I don’t see anything with her piercing her daughter’s ears. I pierced my daughter’s ears when she was 5 weeks old and I have never had a problem. I say the earlier, the better.

Congrats to her and her husband on the new baby on the way.

Marky on

Circumcision is a personal choice within a family and a culture, period. It is none of your business whether someone else circumcises their son or not, bwb. Your child, your choice. Ear piercing is the same; and I loved doing it young. The girls didn’t even notice when it was done, because they were young! Frankly, my son didn’t notice getting circumcised, either, and has never complained about it…..ever!

I will say that if Cecilia was born in the USA, her nationality is American, but her race is Hispanic. If she was born in Venezuela, she is Venezuelan….No biggie, just sayin’

Jennifer on

I wish people would understand that Latino is an ethnic group and not a race. There are white Latinos, black Latinos, even Asian Latinos. There is racism in the Latino world, no doubt, which is why you see more blond, blue-eyed people on telenovelas versus those with more indigenous heritage, but I am a white Latino with Cuban and Chilean heritage and I am proud of my roots even if I “look white.”

Also, I had my ears pierced at birth and was the envy of all my friends later on! 🙂

New Orleans on

What does, having your childs ears pierced, have to do with being Latino? And why would you relate that to a circumcision?

WOW, People Mag. needs to find something more than this to print! Stupid, stupid articles.

mamato3littles on

I don’t even know who she is, but she sounds dumb. I hope it was the way the article was written and not her saying things that are leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

“When she was born and I [realized] what the situation was going to be”-

How I’m reading it, she is saying she was disappointed her daughter wasn’t born a certain way.

kestl on

So being ‘white’ is a bummer? What is someone said that about being ‘latina’? You are white you dumb broad.

Nadia on

latino is not a race but the real latinos are white and are Italians are the real Latino. Also just because she looks white it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have black or indio ancestry because majority of people from Latin and South America are mixed. But those countries can still have white people after all majority of Spanish people from Spain are white. It also depends how old or knew her family is to the South America because some elite classes never married anything but white people and others mixed allot with known whites.

Laura on

Maybe people don’t know you’re latina because nobody even knows who you are!!!! Also, maybe if you stop dying your hair blonde people will stop mistaking you for one of us “crazy white people”.

Hoban on

Her husband is white and therefore that is just as much as part of her daughter’s life as being Latina is. The child is both and yet Majandra makes that sounds as if it’s a bad thing. Heaven forbid anyone think your half white daughter is white!

Anonymous on

New Orleans- I think the comparasion with circumcision is because both procedures involve modifying a child’s body in some way. How I took it was that she doesn’t get why a lot of people criticize her for piercing her daughter’s ears, yet think infant circumcision (which she obviously is against) is perfectly fine.

Anyway, I don’t see what the big deal is about piercing a baby girl’s ears. The procedure couldn’t be more simple, and it doesn’t really even hurt. You feel a bit of a sting for about two seconds (followed by a sudden sensation of warmth, due to all the blood rushing to the hole in an attempt to form a clot and heal it), if even that.

It also couldn’t be more simple to UNDO the procedure (unlike, say, circumcision, which is permanent). If a girl decides when she grows up that she’d rather not have pierced ears, all she has to do is stop wearing earrings. The holes will grow closed within a day or so. Yes, there will be scars, but they generally aren’t that noticeable (especially considering the fact that most people don’t go around staring at other people’s ears!).

Paula on

Did I just read this? That her daughter looks like a white girl and that was a bummer. Well why is your hair dyed blonde, you can always dye it black. Crazy!

Marie on

She seems really dumb and out of touch. She goes on and on about being perceived as white and how she has to explain she’s not, and makes it sound like it such a pain for her. Bottom line is she loves that she looks white because that’s what gets her the acting gigs!

Ala on

Sorry to burst your cultural bubble, Majandra, but it’s not a cultural thing in France to pierce baby girls’ ears in France – just like we don’t necessarily circumcise baby boys.

Lyanna on

Ear piercing is not a health issue, it’s a vanity issue. Fuss all you want, lady, when they get to an age where they decide they want pierced ears, o.k., until then, it’s you trying to prove you have a daughter.

Ellen Smith on

I certainly hope she goes back to whatever “Latina” country she came from. We wouldn’t want her to raise her daughter around “white” people now, would we? What an ignoramous!

Hea on

Stop changing your babies bodies. Show them some decency and allow them to choose for themselves when they grow up.

Anonymous on

First i will say, i dont have a clue who she is, so when she “jokes” as it says above, i dont understand her humor. Could you imagine if the word white was replaced with black, Latina, or something else.

Here is what I to out of this….being born white is a bummer, she pierced her ears bc she looked white and needed people to know she was Latin.

Majandra, I don’t think you are “crazy white people who pierced your child’s ears.” I think you are ill informed, ignorant, not so bright, and offensive. “It drives me crazy because those very people will make these very snap judgments about it. [I think to myself], ‘You guys cut your baby’s penis skin.’ And that’s fine … I let you do your thing, let me do my thing — this is my culture. It’s such a hot topic.”

Hilarious! First, Latin people also circumcise their babies and people who are not Latin pierce their babies ears young, so it’s not HER culture! Hilarious!

She should really stop talking.

Terri on

A lot of people pierce their babies’ ears. Is this really an issue?

Mya on

How is circumcision a personal choice when the person who is being held down and forced to have their penis skin cut is bawling and thrashing (obviously saying no) or so much in shock they just go silent and still??? (also a no)

Is rape OK because they don’t remember it?

There should be no altering of another person’s body unless that person says they want it. I hate having pierced ears.. HATE it. They get full of gook, hurt at times and look ugly. I don’t even wear earrings and haven’t since I was a teenager.

Nobody should make a decision for another person’s body.

Jenn on

Okay white people, relax. She poked fun, you’ll live.

Melissa on

I think I may be the only one who took her explanation a little bit differently than everyone else.

When she said she saw how her baby looked white, was disappointed, and wanted to get her baby’s ears pierced, I took it like this. The baby probably looked like she could be confused as a boy by other people. Maybe she was a bald baby? Who knows, the article doesn’t say. Anyway, I’m first generation Mexican American, my parents had my ears pierced as an infant, I’m thankful for that. I’m currently pregnant with my first child and if my baby is a girl, you better believe I’m having her ears pierced as a baby. In my opinion, baby girls look so much prettier with little stud earrings on. Not to mention, earrings should help tell others that this is a girl baby because even though you can dress up a baby all in pink, there are still some blind morons out there who will automatically call a girl a “he” just like there’s those people who think all dogs are boy dogs. It’s ignorant.

Lay off this woman, I don’t even know who she is but she obviously was trying to be funny with her story and it probably got lost in translation. Not all things in one language is funny in others. Relax people.

YesIAMWhite on

So…being white is a disappointment ? If that had been said about any other race, hell would have broken loose… I don’t get why being white should be a bad thing, just like being any other race shouldn’t be a bad thing, but it seems acceptable to say being white is a bummer.. wow

Anonymous on

Mya- I’m sorry about your problems with your ears, but your case is a rarity. In the vast majority of people (I say “people” because pierced ears are not exclusive to women!), the holes from ear piercing heal (i.e., close) within a day or two, leaving behind small scars that are barely noticeable.

In otherwords, in most people, ear piercing is harmless. 🙂

olga on

“Her name is Cecilia Walton and she’s totally my coloring so she looks totally like a white girl, and it’s kind of a bummer,”
Well it’s not like her hubby Mr. Walton was black either so what else would she expect?

Anyways piercing ears is a parent’s PERSONAL decision. I come from a Latino family and my dad was totally against piercing baby girl’s ears! I didn’t pierce my ears until I was in high school, same for my sister! Nobody ever made fun of me for not having them, in fact I think no one even noticed. I rather my girl have baby bangs so people know she’s a girl rather than pierce her ears.

lola on

eh, I can see her point. I would be bummed if my white child looked latin or black.

guest on

News Flash…. white people pierce there babys ears to

AG3 on

Why do so many people choose to read an article, (that clearly has the topic stated in the title) that they don’t agree with and then take the time to rant about it?

Everybody criticizing her for being “bummed people think she’s white” did you stop to think that maybe she’s bummed people aren’t acknowledging her Latina roots which she’s clearly proud of? How many of you would be “bummed” if others thought you were a race you weren’t and then question the authenticity of your claim to be another because you “didn’t look like it”?

Lastly, why do you care that a parent (who you’ve never met or will meet) pierced her child’s ears (who you’ve also never met or will meet).Like with her comparison- she doesn’t worry about what you do with your child and you don’t worry about what she does with hers.

seabond on

What’s wrong with looking white?? I’m English but look Asian or Portugese, or Italian or some other kind of ethnicity and I would never say it’s a ‘bummer’. Being unhappy with your appearance will be passed down to next generations. This is so not cool. Smh.

Cinder Lou on

Hea and Mya, you are absolutely correct. I repeat Hea’s post: “Stop changing your babies bodies. Show them some decency and respect and allow them to choose for themselves when they grow up.” Individuals (not parents) have the right to determine what goes on with their own bodies. Period.

Johanna on

I think it’s funny how ear-piercing and circumcision draw this shocked “you’re making decisions about your baby’s body” comments, as if we don’t make decisions about our babies’ and kids’ bodies all the time. It’s part of being a parent, that we make those decisions. Adults don’t just pop out of a vacuum — they are ex-babies/kids who have had decisions made about their bodies, even if their parents didn’t realize it. Do you breastfeed or formula-feed? What type of diet do you feed your children as they grow up? What type of activities do they do? What type of healthcare do they get? All of these things, and more, create permanent changes in our children’s bodies. That’s life. No reason to get crazed over it.

Jessica on

Funny how Majandra complains about people judging piercing her daughter’s ears and then she makes a negative judgment against circumcision. If you want people to treat your cultural heritage with respect, then you should do the same! Hypocrite.

Eric on

Majandra complains about people judging piercing her daughter’s ears. Then she makes a negative judgement against circumcision. Pot calling the kettle black. Wonder if she is aware of her own hypocrisy.

Bridget on

This has to be the most offensive, racist article I have ever read. And “it’s okay because she is putting down white coloring.” Did she really just say it was a bummer that her child looks white even though she herself is white? She’s a white latina. They exist just like there are darker skinned latinas. And why is she so worried about her being perceived as white…is being white now inferior? Can you imagine her being worried her baby was dark-pigmented?

Bridget on

And why is she dying her hair blonde if she doesn’t like to be considered caucasion? What a hypocrite. Go back to Venezuela.