Ear Piercing is the modification of making holes in the vinyl through or near a doll's ears to allow the doll to wear earrings.
Through American Girl
As of 2008, any My American Girl doll can get her ears pierced--if ordered off the website, this must be done at purchase. Otherwise the doll must be taken to a store or shipped to American Girl directly and pierced for a fee of $14. For Historical Characters and Girls of the Year, ear piercing may not be available as an option at the time of purchase, especially when bought online; AG however will accept piercing services for any doll after being purchased. The holes are drilled with a dremel (power tool) and are permanent.
The resulting holes are sized for American Girl earrings and so are bigger than standard human earring posts.
The same method is used for applying hearing aids, though the post hole is placed at a lower position.
Some collectors prefer to pierce ears themselves. In this way, they are not limited to American Girl earrings only; before ear piercing was offered this was the only way to have pierced ears. This is generally done with a large needle or pushpin, or the earring post directly. The vinyl can be warmed up with a heat source such as a blow dryer to prevent cracking; the needle or pushpin is then gently pushed into the vinyl to make a hole. The hole, while permanent, is much more discreet than the piercing holes made by American Girl and allows any regular human earrings to be placed into the piercing.
A person can also make earring holes the same size as the American Girl sizes using a hand drill and a correctly sized bit. A thumb tack will make an initial guide hole, and a 82/1000 or #42 drill bit will make them the correct size. One may have to ream the hole a bit with the drill bit on high speed if too snug.