At what exact point a baby should get their ears pierced is something of a divisive subject among parents. While there are definitely loads parents who elect to have their kids ears pierced as babies, others just give it a few years and let the kid decide. Now one North Carolina dad’s viral Facebook post about his daughter’s trip to get her ears pierced has become a message about the consent of children that parents everywhere should read.
Adam Baker’s eight-year-old daughter Adelaide had been talking to her parents about getting her ears pierced on her birthday for a while. But, when the time came for her to sit down in the chair and do it, all that ended up left on her ear was a tiny blue dot where an earring would have gone.
“This is the unpierced ear of a newly 8-year-old girl who has been talking about getting her ears pierced for over a month now. She’s been very excited. After picking out her earrings, getting into the chair, and as her ears were being prepped, her smile vanished. Instead of excitement, there was fear,” Baker wrote on Facebook. “Tearful, she apologized and said, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ But, beloved, there is no apology necessary. You alone get to determine what anyone else does to your body.”
This is the unpierced ear of a newly 8-year-old girl who has been talking about getting her ears pierced for over a…
Baker was actually proud of his daughter for admitting that she really didn’t want the piercings. Hell, even if she’d really really wanted them right up until the last second, it’s still extremely powerful that Adelaide would come forward like that and stand up for her own body. Not every kid is given the space to exercise that kind of autonomy. And unfortunately, that’s because the conversation about consent doesn’t often extend into areas of life that go beyond sex. The truth is that encouraging consent is as a simple as encouraging a kid to set and enforce boundaries as Adelaide did.
“The birthday girl may be leaving the shop today without new earrings, but there’s a reason that she’s kept saying, again and again, ‘Thank you for understanding’,” Baker wrote at the end of his post. “Her voice has been heard. Her choice has been honored. Her body is her own, and she knows that those who love her will respect her choices. It’s never too early to begin emphasizing these realities and empowering these expectations.”