Now I don’t usually do this, I would consider myself to be a rather opinionated person, but I never thought I would see myself writing this post in response to this video. I’m not sure how old this is, and I’m not sure how many of my lovely readers would want to watch it and discuss it, but I feel that it is worth watching, worth talking about and worth sharing.
This photographer and father was slammed hard by the internet when he posted images of his two year old girl online – in some of the photos, she has her hands in her trousers, her dress pulled up past her knickers or is completely naked (sitting on a potty, for example). All his social media accounts were frozen, and he fought back at the internet is a truly eye opening way.
Obviously, this video is sensitive material so…
So there you go, the story as told by a father.
This has sparked up a huge debate and the questions that seem to come up the most are:
Is he breaching his daughters rights by displaying these images without her consent?
Should he have posted them online or kept them to himself?
Should he, in fact, be able to take ANY pictures of this kind?
Now my response is quite plain: The “Internet” needs to take a massive chill pill.
As a father, this man should 100% be able to take these photographs of his daughter. It is HIS daughter. Yes, I know there are some awful parents out there who exploit and abuse their children; but does that mean that we should have to forgo our basic right of recording our own children’s lives and up bringing? Is that not a rewarding part of parenting? Is it not wonderful to look back through old photos of your children and marvel at how small they were, how cute they were, remember that phase they went through etc.
By this standard, mothers should not be able to take pictures of their sons either and then there would be no embarrassing “look at your boyfriend in the bath aged 2!” pictures to show the first serious girlfriend 16 years later. (not a very serious point, but a point none-the-less) In fact, let’s take it a step further: as a father he has cared for his daughter, he has bathed her, changed her nappy, hugged her and kissed her. Does this make him a pervert? Or is that just a dad being a good father?
As for displaying images online – as a mummy blogger, I am guilty of posting photographs of my son on the internet for complete strangers to view and coo over. On my Instagram, I even posted a picture of my son in the bath – like you do. It was a completely innocent picture and I know loads of parents – ambassadors of bath toy companies etc, who will have done the same thing. Are they sexualising their children by doing that?
If you’re against posting images of your own children online because of the age of consent: you’re a moron. If you’re against it because of the sexualisation of children – you have a valid point (as depressing as that is).
It doesn’t mean that every person who views a photo of your child is a pervert or a paedophile, but on the internet, how can you be sure that photo hasn’t been viewed by someone with dishonest intentions? Thankfully, Instagram does prevent images being downloaded which may minimise the likelihood, but of course as we all know, you can always screen shot the images and cut them down to size.
We live in a sad world where anything you do, anything you say, and any way you act WILL come back to bite you in the arse – one way or another. But isn’t that depressing? Aren’t we meant to be free? To live our lives without limitation, to be who we want to be? Shouldn’t kids be able to run around hotel rooms naked? Hand on heart, parents: who HASN’T let their kids run around the house naked? Being naked, to a toddler, is FUN.
I am not a photographer and there is a big difference between my world and this man’s world. I think that’s why his gallery viewing was so great, and it’s so wonderful that so many people took their WHOLE family to see it, from toddlers to teenagers, because as a culture, as a society, we need to understand that not everyone is bad. There will always be bad people, but we don’t need to obsess over that bad.
I know this is a huge ramble but I felt like I really needed to get if off my chest after I viewed the video. I’m sure none of it will make much sense or really address and issues raised in a coherent way, BUT I wrote from the heart and that’s all that matters.
As I said, this is completely out of character and I’m not really sure how this post is going to go down. If my opinions upset or hurt anyone, then I am truly sorry. I don’t want to go into details about this topic too much, but I have my own experiences and so I feel very passionately about this man’s story and I feel that it is definitely worth taking five minutes of of your day to stop and think about.
If you read this far, thank you for reading and please let me know your opinion in the comments.