Jessica Simpson has kicked off a debate surrounding whether or not parents should share images of their children wearing bathing suits on social media.
The singer posted photos of her daughter, 5-year-old Maxwell Drew, wearing a bikini to Instagram and was quickly criticized by followers who felt they were “inappropriate.”
“Too much too soon. Not cool in a world filled with perves!” one commenter wrote. “Protect your children. This is not for social media,” another added.
One Instagram user, who identified herself as a fellow mother, explained why she would never post a photo of her own young daughter in swimwear. “I just read an article about predators using innocent photos like this and photoshopping them for their disturbing use and circulating them to their ‘friends,'” she wrote. “Those are the ones best left in our photo albums.”
But hundreds more of Simpson’s followers have also come to her defense. “If she’s comfortable with her daughter wearing that particular bathing suit then it’s no one’s right to judge her,” one Instagram user wrote.
“To everyone warning Jessica Simpson that people will sexualize her daughter because of this picture, that’s exactly what you’re doing,” another commented. “She’s a child. See this for what it is: a picture of a child having fun. If you’re worried for her safety then teach your kids about consent and discuss how outfits and presentation don’t imply consent to engage in sexual behavior with anyone.”
Flip or Flop star Christina El Moussa was similarly shamed for posting a picture of herself in a bikini with her daughter. “Welcome to the family!! @cashiethefrenchbulldog,” the HGTV star wrote to accompany the photo. A few days later, she shared a picture from the same day and in response to the backlash she wrote, “it’s cali people it’s what we do*.”
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