Kimberly Corban explains that her family planned a trip to Chicago, where her daughter was excited to get her ears pierced at the American Girl doll store.
Kimberly Corban is a dynamic and inspirational speaker who often speaks her truth with an audience of strangers. As a survivor of sexual assault, a public speaker, and an advocate, Corban regularly talks about her journey and encourages others who have faced similar situations. This time, however, a clip from her podcast is now getting viral on social media, not for a story from her past, but for sharing a lesson on consent she recently had with her then-6-year-old daughter. In the video, according to In The Know, Corban explains that her family planned a trip to Chicago, where her daughter was excited to get her ears pierced. “And not just get her ears pierced,” Corban added. “She wanted her ears pierced at the American Girl doll store.”
“I always wanted to make sure that any kind of ear piercing was always her choice,” the mom of four explained. Since her daughter talked about it for months, Corban was confident that the 6-year-old wanted this. When they got there, her daughter skipped happily through the store with an American Girl doll under her arm, and the family went to the ear-piercing station. After picking out the "pink ice" earrings, Corban’s usually bubbly 6-year-old suddenly went quiet. “You just sort of see her start to stare off and check out,” Corban observed. “I’m just really nervous,” the 6-year-old replied. Her mom reassured her that it was OK to be nervous. “I don’t know,” her daughter admitted. “I don’t know if I want to do it now.”
Instead of going the general route like other moms and assuring them that it would be over soon, Corban leaned over and said, “Honey, you can say no at any time.” “But you already paid,” her daughter replied. “Doesn’t matter — I will crumple this paper up right now and get rid of it,” Corban told her. Then, her husband stood up and said something that left their daughter in tears. “You know what?” he said to their daughter, “It is brave to get your ears pierced, but it is also brave to say that you do not wanna get your ears pierced.” Their daughter told her parents, “I don’t think I want to,” to which Corban replied, "OK, that is great!” and left the ear-piercing station to walk around the store.
When they left the station, Corban could tell that her daughter's fear was lifted off and she became cheerful again. “She needed someone to give her permission to have her voice,” Corban shared. “And it’s over her own body.” “It was one of those parenting moments where I’m like, ‘We’ve been doing something right,'” Corban recalled, adding that her daughter’s decision not to get her ears pierced was “such a win” in her book. “I have been so so proud of her speaking up for herself in that way ever since,” the mom shared. Then, a year later, when she was mentally ready to get her ears pierced, the family traveled to Chicago and told her daughter that if she changed her mind at any point, that would be OK.
“I cannot think of a better way to reinforce what consent is than that sort of story,” Corban said. “It’s not just ear piercing, it can be anything — anything at all. If you put that power of making that choice in their hands, it will matter a whole lot more when they are older and when it is potentially dangerous to their bodies.”
People stormed the comments to applaud the mom for letting her daughter speak her mind and telling her that it is okay to say no. “This is not just about consent,” said @kwilks09. “This is about autonomy, confidence, and maturity. You are teaching her to be brave and strong.” TikTok user @laylasmom00 shared, "My daughter backed out after one ear. I let her walk out. The woman did 'You are going to let her only get one ear pierced' Yup.'" User @morgansowerbutts added, "Makes me teary, so happy for her and so sad for myself at the same time. Thanks for teaching her that her voice matters."