girl getting ear pierced
Brittany Hambleton
Brittany Hambleton
September 17, 2020 ·  3 min read

The ‘My Body, My Choice’ Philosophy Includes Ear Piercing

Kimberly Zapata has fourteen body piercings and more tattoos than she can count. She has a half-shaven head and wild-colored hair. She got her first tattoo on her eighteenth birthday just because she knew her mom wouldn’t like it.

From an outside perspective, Kimberly is pretty hardcore. When she had her own daughter, many friends, family, and even strangers assumed that she would have her daughter’s ears pierced right away. 

Much to their surprise, Kimberly has decided not to pierce her daughter’s ears. Why? She is a firm believer in “my body, my choice”. In her opinion, that extends to ear piercings as well.

My Body, My Choice

No matter how many piercings or tattoos she gets, Kimberly will not be piercing her toddler’s ears. Countless friends and family members asked her when she was going to have her daughter’s ears pierced, even before she could sit or crawl. They were shocked when she said she wasn’t going to.

Most of them simply assumed that because she herself had so many body modifications, she’d be eager to start the process for her child. They also wanted to know what her stance was as a parent on other things like tattoos and hair color.

“While I could have answered snarkily, told them it was none of their goddamn business, or told them I was planning to take my toddler for an Elmo tat on her 3rd birthday, I informed them that piercing my daughter’s ears was not on my radar, at all, and it wasn’t something I planned to do,” she wrote for the website Scary Mommy [1].

In fact, she says the reason they assumed she would have her daughter’s ears pierced- because of her own body modifications- is the exact reason why she won’t be. Kimberly firmly believes that what her daughter does with her body should be her choice, and hers alone.

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But They’re ‘Just Ears

That’s what a few people have said to Kimberly after learning her opinion on the matter. 

“While the piercing in question is “just my daughter’s ears,” they are her ears, and hers alone,” says Kimberly [1].

In her opinion, there is no benefit to piercing her daughter’s ears before she can make the choice for herself. Piercing her ears before she decides she wants them pierced could actually create a problem. The biggest of these being the issue of consent.

Kimberly points out that all of her body modifications were her choice. Not all of them were necessarily good choices, but they were hers.

Who is the Piercing For?

Kimberly will not force piercing on her daughter nor will she decide for her. To do that, she says, would be for the sake of her own vanity.

“I will not permanently modify her for my own vanity because — let’s face it — piercing her ears would be self-serving, since it is neither a cultural consideration (for me) nor medically beneficial.” [1]

She will also not do it because she’s trying to save her daughter from pain. She argues that the discomfort associated with a piercing is no worse than a bee sting. If, when her daughter is older, she tells her that she wants her ears pierced, she will gladly take her. Until then, her daughter’s ears will remain piercing-free.

“So while small CZ studs may be shiny and cute, they won’t make her happy, at least not right now. That’s what Cheerios, Mickey Mouse, more Mickey Mouse — aka Minnie — Cookie, and Elmo are for.” [1]