When I dropped my daughter off at school this morning, we went through our usual routine; I crouched down to her height, hugged her, kissed her on the lips and wished her a happy day. Then I left to get on with my day without giving our interaction a second thought.
But after a quick trawl of today’s news when I got home, I was shocked to read about the backlash over an image of David Beckham and his daughter Harper. He’d been criticised for kissing her on the lips in a photo he’d posted on Instagram. It’s just the two of them, sharing a father-daughter kiss at a family ice skating outing together. Innocent, right? Not according to the provocateurs hiding behind the internet – they called it ‘weird’, ‘creepy’ and ‘not right’. I really felt for Becks – an innocent and beautiful display of affection unnecessarily twisted to mean something totally different.
However, the trolling of the image is not simply attacking Beckham, it’s also condemning all the fathers and parents out there who don’t think twice about showing physical affection to their children. I shower my daughter with love to the point that it probably annoys her, but I’m her father and I love her and it’s a natural part of our bond and relationship.
Let’s be clear here, this is a peck on the lips and absolutely nothing more. Similarly, I kiss my younger son on the lips. Again, a peck. Is that weird? No. It’s not weird, it’s a show of love and I for one am completely comfortable with it, as is Beckham. What would be weird is if I attached one single iota of misconstrued meaning to it. It’s just such a shame that something so innocent can be viewed so negatively. Thankfully though, like most Instagram negativity and opinion, it’s generated by a tiny minority. Mother Puckers!